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Stopping the Flow

Issue: 71 Section: Environment Geography: Quebec Dunham Topics: tar sands, climate justice, climate camp

September 6, 2010

Stopping the Flow

Quebec Climate Action Camp takes on the Enbridge Trailbreaker project

by Cameron Fenton

Climate Campers march to the site of the Enbridge's proposed pumping station in Dunham, QC. Photo: Allan Cedillo Lissner, allan.lissner.net

DUNHAM, QC—From August 7 to 23, the Quebec Climate Action Camp took root in Dunham, QC—an hour drive southeast of Montreal. The camp aimed to continue to build opposition to the construction of a pumping station in Dunham, a key piece of infrastructure in the Enbridge Trailbreaker project.

The Trailbreaker pipeline project would reverse the flow of existing pipleline infrastructure, moving tar sands oil from Alberta through the United States, Ontario, and eventually crossing through Montreal and Quebec's Eastern Townships region. It would then be piped to Portland, Maine, to be loaded onto tankers destined for Texan refineries.

Community organizers from Dunham joined the Climate Camp to build momentum in a growing local movement against the pumping station. On August 15 over 100 people marched from Parc L'Envol, down Dunham's Rue Principal to Town Hall. Dunham Mayor Jean-Guy Demers ended the march by voicing his support for the camp and for the campaign opposing the pumping station.

Over the two weeks of the Climate Camp, over 300 people visited the camp from across Quebec, eastern Canada, the northeastern United States and coming from as far as California and Austria. The visitors came not only to take action themselves, but also to work towards building a broad, empowering climate justice movement. The camp, powered by solar, wind and kinetic energy, was organized as an exercise in collective self-management.

Climate Camp ended with a march to the site of the proposed pumping station, and the launch of the Trailbreaker Pledge of Resistance. The pledge states that "because of the grave threat the Trailbreaker project poses to the climate, the community and all others in its path, we pledge to engage in non-violent direct action to stop the pumping station should they ever attempt to follow through with its construction without community consent."

The August 15 march leaving Parc L'Envol led by local youth. photo by Climate Camp Quebec
The August 15 march making its way to Dunham town hall. photo by Climate Camp Quebec
Signing the Pledge of Resistance against the Trailbreaker pipeline. photo by Allan Cedillo Lissner/allancedillolissner.net
The Climate Camp site. photo by Ben Powless http://www.flickr.com/photos/powless/
Around the fire with Climate Campers. photo by Ben Powless http://www.flickr.com/photos/powless/

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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