Greenpeace occupation succeeds in sending strong message to Enbridge

VANCOUVER, July 29 /CNW/ - More than 24 hours after Greenpeace started its occupation of Enbridge's downtown Vancouver office, the protest has come to an end. Activists succeeded in sending a strong message to the pipeline giant that it must not build its planned twin 1,170-kilometre Northern Gateway Pipelines from Alberta's tar sands to Kitimat in northern B.C.'s Great Bear Rainforest.

The action started at 10 a.m. yesterday when a team of four activists entered Enbridge's office at One Bentall Centre (505 Burrard St.) and locked themselves down. With tar balls collected from the Gulf of Mexico, they wrote "B.C. next?" on the glass office doors. The activists stayed in the place until today at 1:30 a.m., when at least 20 officers stormed the office, cut the activists' chains and removed them in handcuffs. The activists spent the night in jail. The last one was released at about 8:30 a.m. They were charged with mischief.

Outside the office tower, a mock oil spill continued all night and the clean up was completed at 11 a.m. Greenpeace built a mock pipeline over a truck and oil spilled onto a large image that represented B.C.'s coastal Great Bear Rainforest, while a "cleanup" crew warned people of the dangers of Enbridge's project. A banner reading "Picture this on B.C.'s coast" was hung on the side of the truck. Greenpeace B.C. director Stephanie Goodwin and activist Brian Beaudry were barricaded in the truck from 10 a.m. yesterday until 11:45 a.m.

"Our mock oil spill took 30 minutes to clean up," Goodwin said as she emerged from the truck. "Unfortunately, a real oil spill is never this easy to manage. More than three months after the disaster in the Gulf, BP is still trying to clean up its mess. Just three days ago, Enbridge added to its toxic legacy with yet another spill with more than three million litres of crude oil leaking into a creek leading to the Kalamazoo River in southwest Michigan. Greenpeace, other environmental organizations and Coast First Nations will not allow a similar Enbridge spill to destroy our coast."

The Canadian government is considering Enbridge's Northern Gateway Pipelines proposal, which would bring more than 200 crude oil tankers annually through treacherous shipping lanes. In the time Goodwin and Beaudry were locked inside the truck, 700,000 barrels of petroleum products could have been transported through the proposed pipelines.

The federal government's review process has started and Greenpeace is urging people to send letters directly to the government and Enbridge to voice their opposition to the project. Pipeline company Kinder Morgan also has a long-term plan to expand its oil pipeline capacity to its southern port in Burnaby, more than doubling its current oil tanker traffic through the Georgia Strait.

Producers: B-roll and clips with Goodwin available upon request.

Photo editors: Photos available at www.greenpeace.ca/gallery.

SOURCE Green News

For further information: For further information: Raina Delisle, Greenpeace media and public relations officer, 604-345-2893; Jessica Wilson, Greenpeace media and public relations officer, 778-228-5404; Stephanie Goodwin, Greenpeace B.C. director, 778-288-9184

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