Charges against water defenders dropped who stopped the Line 9 pipeline in 2015.
11 am, january 13, 2017 | all charges have been dropped against vanessa gray, stone stewart and sarah scanlon who shut down enbridge’s line 9 pipeline on december 21, 2015 on Anishnaabe territory just outside of Aamjiwnaang and sarnia.
they were charged with mischief endangering lives and mischief over $5000. as they lawyers commented, these exaggerated charges were a scare tactic used to intimidate them and future water defenders from engaging in direct action. however, the court could present no evidence to convict them on these charges.
“the only way they prove these cases is by admitting that their pipelines are subject to rupture,” their lawyer notes.
vanessa gray provides closing remarks to a crowd of more than 30 people gathered outside the sarnia court today,
“the defense of the land does not begin or end with enbridge’s line 9 pipeline. we have to work collectively to support indigenous frontline communities such as aamjiwnaang and chippewas of the thames who’s case against line 9 continues.
we all share the responsibility of using our voices and bodies to stand up to these companies. the land beneath the refineries in chemical valley is still considered sacred. our relationship with the land is the medicine we need to survive. so i hope to continue this work with all of you to build our communities and stop companies from further endangering our water and our land.”
as we enter a period where the government continues to neglect the demands of indigenous communities and push pipelines through without consent, we must challenge fossil fuels infrastructure projects that moves us further from our climate change targets. and when legal means are used to intimidate those engaging in direct action, we must question who’s interests the government is serving : ours or corporations who’s bottom line guarantees a world inhabitable for most of us, primarily racialized and frontline communities.