By Jason Hopkins
Law enforcement ended a lingering standoff with an anti-pipeline camp site, arresting five protesters and destroying all the makeshift homes that were built.
Intense opposition has centered around the Trans Mountain pipeline project, an expansion proposal that will ultimately stretch from Alberta to British Columbia’s west coast. Construction workers for Kinder Morgan, North America’s largest infrastructure company, have been subjected to numerous environmental protests as they continue to work on the $7.4 billion-dollar crude oil pipeline.
A group of environmental protesters have long congregated in a camp near a Kinder Morgan tank farm in Burnaby, British Columbia. For the past several months, Camp Cloud — the name of the protest camp site — had grown in size. Starting with a single trailer in November, Camp Cloud had grown to include numerous vehicles and trailers, a cabin, an outdoor shower, a two-story wooden “house,” and numerous tents.
For months, the camp site served as a hub of local protest against the Trans Morgan pipeline. However, law enforcement finally put an end to the camp on Thursday.
Workers are bulldozing a two-storey wooden structure at the camp. pic.twitter.com/JQbP7vpQQj
— Alex Migdal (@alexem) August 16, 2018
Police raided the camp site Thursday morning, removing 11 people and arresting five. Once the protesters were cleared out, city employees dismantled the camp, which included bulldozing the haphazardly built homes and confiscating numerous items such as garbage, mattress pads, tables and night stands.
“Camp Cloud is not going anywhere,” said George Manuel, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Manuel had been living in the camp for over four months and was among those that got arrested. “A cloud — it can dissipate. It can come apart and become more than one cloud. It can be many things … we are not going anywhere.”
Manuel was far from the only one taking up permanent residence at the now-deposed site.
A family of four had been living at Camp Cloud. It appears the camp site was their only living arrangement. Upon being evicted, the family has since taken emergency shelter with the help of social services.
Camp Cloud’s demise came after a judge granted the city of Burnaby an injunction ordering all the protesters — and their camp structures — be removed. Many of the protesters, however, had defiantly chosen to stay, which ultimately resulted in police action.
Some nearby residents expressed relief that they are finally gone.
“When you have trouble, you nip it in the bud,” said John Templeton. “We’ve been severely impacted by the protesters in our neighborhood. It seems the approach by the city has been to aid, abet and accommodate the protesters over the rest of the neighborhood who are taxpaying citizens.”
For almost a year, citizens of the town had urged the city government to get rid of protest camp.
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