G Ross Lord Reservoir
Finch Ave east of Dufferin
North York, ON
Today members of the Community Response Unit for Decontaminating our Environment (CRUDE) occupied a Line 9 construction site at Finch and Dufferin from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Workers trying to get onto the site during this time were turned back as a result of the occupation. At 3:30 p.m. police served an injunction to the CRUDE members and evicted them from the site, enabling workers to continue.
CRUDE’s occupation of the Toronto worksite took place in the wake of a six-day work stoppage at a Line 9 construction site in Innerkip, Ontario. In response to being served an injunction by police, two of the Innerkip protestors fastened themselves to concrete to continue to prevent work on the site. Ultimately five arrests were made.
The Toronto occupation was conducted as a show of support for the Innerkip protestors. “We’re inspired by the stamina and courage of the protestors who delayed Enbridge’s work plans by a week and chose to face arrest,” Niloofar Golkar, a member of CRUDE said. “Our political representatives, on the other hand, have no such courage or vision. It’s clear by now that we have to engage in acts of civil disobedience in order to bring about a transition to a less energy-intensive future.”
Umair Muhammad echoed her: “The fossil fuel industry has a lot of power and a lot of money. Our political representatives have repeatedly proven that they are not interested in standing up to it in order to defend the public interest. We’ll need people-power to do so.”
The group noted that Enbridge’s plan to reverse the flow of its almost forty-year-old pipeline and have it transport diluted bitumen is a disaster in the making. “A similar Enbridge reversal project in Michigan, Line 6B, resulted in a giant spill in the Kalamazoo river,” Connor Allaby noted. “The same thing can’t be allowed to happen again.”
CRUDE called on the Provincial government to conduct an environmental assessment of the reversal project so that risks associated with it could be more fully understood. Ultimately, however, the group wants the project to come to an end.
As CRUDE’s Toronto occupation came to a close, CRUDE vowed that it would continue to fight to ensure that Enbridge’s Line 9, and other projects like it, do not come into operation.