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Children welcomed at Burnaby Mountain protests against Kinder Morgan

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"It is our children's future that should be protected," said Jane Thomsing in the caption of a Facebook photo she posted of her and her children at the Burnaby Mountain protest site. (JANE THOMSING/Facebook photo)
“It is our children’s future that should be protected,” said Jane Thomsing in the caption of a Facebook photo she posted of her and her children at the Burnaby Mountain protest site. (JANE THOMSING/Facebook photo)

Two child protesters made news for being escorted back to their father by RCMP after crossing police tape at the Kinder Morgan protests on Burnaby Mountain yesterday.

Burnaby RCMP explained that the incident was contained and stable. The children were with their mother when they crossed the tape, and were not arrested.

RCMP also stated that children are welcome so long as the atmosphere remains calm.

Protester Brett Rhyno, who has been camping on the mountain since the injunction, thinks children’s voices should be heard.

“It’s their future that’s at stake,” Rhyno said, “they wanted to make their statement to cross the police line and register their opposition to Kinder Morgan.”

Karen Heaps, who brings food to the camp to support protesters, agrees.

Children should be included

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being exposed to what’s going on here. [Children] need to know what’s happening just like everybody else.”

Filmmaker Sarama, who was there capturing footage for his documentary This Living Salish Sea, cited Ta’Kaiya Blaney, a member of the Sliammon First Nation in Powell River, as someone who was taking child activism to the next level.

At just 13, Blaney has already spoken at the United Nations three times, and sung with Neil Young and the Barenaked Ladies as a special guest. She has been heavily involved in fossil fuel issues including Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipeline opposition; participating in the Tar Sands Healing Walk.

Sarama explained it doesn’t come down to age, but maturity.

“You can have a 40 year old who’s very immature, and some of these children, they understand, they’re serious, they’re thoughtful,” Sarama said.

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