Langara students attend Defend Our Coast in Victoria

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Protesters gather at the Parliament buildings in Victoria, B.C. in opposition of oil tankers and the Enbridge pipeline. Photo: Jacqueline Langen

Langara students travelled to Victoria on Monday with thousands of British Columbians, in an effort to Defend Our Coast from the threat of tar sands, pipelines and oil tankers.

At B.C.’s capital, thousands of concerned citizens participated in an act of peaceful, civil disobedience, to try and put a stop to the Enbridge Northern Gateway project.

“Our coast is not for sale,” said Calvin DeGroot, a Defend Our Coast organizer, during an information session at Langara College on Oct. 17.

That same message was shared throughout the day on Monday, Oct. 22, in front of the B.C. legislature.

 Langara students attend Defend Our Coast Rally in Victoria

Environmental student, Maddie Mackenzie, and friends traveled to Victoria, to oppose the tar sands and the Enbridge pipeline.

“Imagine a spill,” she said. “It would be devastating, it would ruin the whole coast and it would be impossible to clean up.”

Mackenzie’s reasons for taking part in the protest, have to do with more than just the pipeline.

“Because I think we live in an apathetic generation,” Mackenzie said. “I want to do something and be a part of something that is meaningful.”

Journalism student, Jacqueline Langen, went to Victoria to photograph the event.

Langen estimates that 4,000 pipeline protesters were present.

“I was surprised at how many people were there,” she said.

The journalism student was pleasantly surprised at how relaxed, positive and peaceful the whole event was.

“People from all walks of life were present,” added Bradley Hughes, Langara physics and astronomy teacher.

Protesters gather at the Parliament buildings in Victoria, B.C. in opposition of oil tankers and the Enbridge pipeline. Photo: Jacqueline Langen

Civil disobedience and protests against oil tankers and the Enbridge pipeline

A black banner measuring 235 metres, was spread out across the grounds to symbolize the size of an Aframax super tanker, that would carry bitumen off of B.C.’s coast.

Multiple speakers shared their views and opinions relating to respect for First Nations’ rights, climate change, steering the Canadian economy away from the polluting tar sands industry and shutting down the tar sands altogether.

One of the guest speakers asked everyone if they would be willing to lay down in front of the machinery to stop the pipeline.

“Everyone responded with a thundering YES,” said Hughes.

The protest will not end in Victoria. Hughes said the protests would not stop until the Enbridge pipeline project is abolished.

Reported by Sascha Porteous

Bradley Hughes, a professor at Langara College, describes what it was like at the Defend Our Coast rally on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012. Video by Dennis Page.

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