For Our Grandchildren has commented on the Alberta Tar Sands, a project that has been the subject of international criticism and protests. Yet Prime Minister Harper promotes the extraction of bitumen from the tar sands and its exportthrough the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to the US for refining . Harper refers to those who dispute the Conservative Governments’ support of exploitation of the tar sands as extremists. Some of those “extremists“are grandparents who supported the September 26th Protest on Parliament Hill. Here is an account of the event by Anthony
Ketchum, one of the 4RG founders.
“It was a beautiful day on Parliament Hill when all of a not-quite-sudden, legions of RCMP officers appeared behind a 3′ high fence.
Undaunted, 212 protesters from the huge crowd of cheering supporters formed into ‘waves’ of six, holding each other’s outstretched arms. Forward they marched, wave upon wave, scaling the fence until they were face to face with the uniformed RCMP officers.
Meanwhile, the over 500 supporters behind them shouted and cheered in full voice with each of the 33 ‘waves’ of citizens as they advanced to the fence.
Along the 150 yards of fence the supporters took hundreds of photos of us and passed food and water, apples, sunscreen, snacks etc. to the weary ‘trespassers’ (in their own Parliament) as they sat in the blazing sun, hour after hour.
But the greatest cheers came when those over the fence were marched off in handcuffs to be searched, checked for criminal records and otherwise ‘processed’. Shouts and cheers and clapping, whistling, etc. resounded over the Hill as the handcuffed ‘prisoners’ were marched away.
However, the greatest discomfort, apart from the hours sitting on the grass, was travelling in the very small ‘cage’ in the paddy wagon before the occupants were dropped off, quite disoriented, on a downtown Ottawa street.
We all received a trespassing fine of $65 from the Ottawa police, along with a condition that if we should be found on the Hill in the next 12 months, we will be jailed, taken to court, and fined $2000:00. But the Ottawa police do not have jurisdiction on Parliament Hill – which, in any case belongs to us all as citizens?
How can the RCMP and Ottawa Police legally do that?? We have 30 days to pay the $65 fine. Perhaps it’s not worth going to Ottawa again to appear in court.
It was only 212 citizens on Monday. What will it be next time, and in how many different communities around the world? Will our grandchildren’s generation carry the torch before it’s too late?”