Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams and a growing array of entertainers, including Michael Moore, Daryl Hannah and Mark Ruffalo, are adding their voices to a protest against a proposed pipeline across British Columbia.
Ms. Williams, an American who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban anti-personnel landmines, said at a press conference in Vancouver on Tuesday that a tour along the pipeline route left her convinced that local communities will halt the proposed Enbridge project.
“I was totally awestruck by the commitment of all the women we met,” Ms. Williams said of the tour of 13 communities just completed by a delegation from the Nobel Women’s Initiative.
She said in one community after another women told the delegation: “It will not happen … we will lie down in front of the bulldozers.”
Ms. Williams said her group met with more than 200 women in northern B.C. and Alberta, and the delegation was moved by stories about the impact resource industries are already having on the health of communities.
She said the group is calling on the government to launch a public inquiry into the social, economic, environmental and health impacts of oil sands developments on northern communities.
Ms. Williams also said the Nobel Women’s Initiative would send a representative to the Defend Our Coast mass sit-in, in Victoria Oct. 22, that will protest against the proposed pipeline and related tanker traffic.
In a statement released Tuesday, Greenpeace Canada said the entertainers have all issued statements supporting the sit-in.
“We stand in solidarity with our northern neighbours,” said Ms. Hannah, who has appeared in more than 30 films, and who was arrested recently for blockading a construction site for the Keystone XL pipeline route.
“Tar sands pipelines are an exercise in folly,” said Mr. Ruffalo, who played The Hulk in the recent hit movie The Avengers. “As the world inevitably transitions away from fossil fuels, a small group of corporate radicals is dead set on accelerating climate change in the biggest land grab and property rights infringement in history.”
Mr. Moore, an Academy Award winning director, said: “There’s a reason Americans call Stephen Harper ‘Bush of the North’ – he’s a totally owned subsidiary of big oil, and is trying to import all of the worst things about the U.S. and get rid of all the best things about Canada.”
In his statement Mr. Moore said demonstrations in the United States helped delay the Keystone XL pipeline, and they can have the same impact in Canada, with the proposed Enbridge project. “President Obama listened to the voices of the people who protested in Washington D.C., and said no to the Keystone XL pipeline. Now’s the time for Canadians to do the same in Victoria on October 22, and force Stephen Harper and B.C. Premier Christy Clark to listen to someone other than their oil-company donors. Tar-sands pipelines are not a pathway to Canada’s future or America’s future or any future. They’re a dead end,” he said.