Thompson-Okanagan locals travel by bus to anti-Kinder Morgan pipeline rally in Vancouver - InfoNews

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Thompson-Okanagan locals travel by bus to anti-Kinder Morgan pipeline rally in Vancouver

This bus picked up riders from Kelowna, Westbank, Vernon, Armstrong, Enderby, Salmon Arm, Chase, Kamloops and Merritt to travel to a rally and march against Kinder Morgan.
Image Credit: Contributed/Jody Leon
November 19, 2016 - 12:03 PM

'WE WILL BE LINKING ARMS AND STANDING TOGETHER AS PEOPLE FROM ALL RACES, NATIONS, AND BACKGROUNDS. YOU CANNOT IGNORE THAT.'

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Today at the crack of dawn, a school bus packed with 48 passengers, followed by a vehicle convoy, left the Southern Interior for Vancouver.

Riders from across the Thompson-Okanagan make the trek today, Saturday, Nov. 19, to participate in a large march and rally to stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Secwepemc activist Jody Leon organized the trip, working hand-in-hand with the grassroots organization Climate Convergence.

According to Leon, Climate Convergence provided the money to cover the cost of the bus. In order to return the money, Leon collected donations. She says this issue is hitting close to home for many and even individuals who weren't able to make the trip contributed.

There was so much interest in the trip, even after the bus was full, Leon still got requests from more than 30 people who wanted to join. 

The bus filled up so quickly that organizer Jody Leon had to turn some people away. Other participants are following by vehicle in a caravan.
The bus filled up so quickly that organizer Jody Leon had to turn some people away. Other participants are following by vehicle in a caravan.
Image Credit: Contributed/Jody Leon

Leon had a hand in organizing the numerous solidarity with Standing Rock rallies recently held in the Thompson-Okanagan.

A 79-year-old woman, a Greenpeace founder, people who were at the Standing Rock solidarity rallies, and people who have never attended a rally are all travelling together on the bus.

"You can't ignore a 5,000 person rally," Leon says.

Leon hopes that given the expected size of the rally, Prime Minister Trudeau will be forced to take notice.

"I would like to see instruction given out to his party to stand strong by their political platform promise of reconciliation with indigenous people," Leon says. "We want him to talk with the people and to consult with them. It doesn't have to be some big government enquiry that takes years. Make good on the promises made and look to more production of industry that wont injure the earth."

The rally is scheduled to begin at noon at Vancouver City Hall. The group will march to Cambie Street Bridge and then to the Library Square. 

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip is set to lead a pledge to resist the pipeline and issue a call to action directed to Prime Minister Trudeau, according to a release from the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.

The release states several First Nations activists, a Green Party MP, a NDP MP, union workers, a City of Vancouver councillor, and environmentalists are among the many who are scheduled to speak at the Library Square rally.

Following the recent solidarity with Standing Rock rallies, Leon stresses the importance of seeing this issue as one that affects all people, not just one group.

"This is something that affects all of us. It's about everyone joining together. If this pipeline breaks, it will affect everyone," Leon says.


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
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