Laurie Embree, a resident of 108 Mile Ranch in the South Cariboo region of B.C., was among nine people arrested on Tuesday for their blockade, according to a press release from Protect the Inlet.
In her statement to the court, Embree said it was her duty to protest unjust laws.
“Your Honour, I have lived my 70 years abiding by the law. But, if we look back into our history, there have been many times when our laws have supported injustices,” Embree said.
She proceeded to cite 18th century laws supporting child labour, 19th century laws permitting slavery and 20th century laws that called for Indigenous children to be taken away from parents to argue that laws that support injustices need to be challenged.
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Embree said the pipeline project “supports an industry that is not just harming children, or black people, or women, or Indigenous peoples.
“Your law, in fact, is supporting an industry that has been scientifically proven to be harming the whole world and every living thing on it.”
Two more protesters were arrested on Wednesday, according to Protect the Inlet, and they could face seven to 14 days in jail.
One of them, retired civil lawyer Ruth Campbell, told the group that she decided to join the protest after hearing about Embree’s arrest.
“It’s disgraceful that a provincial government that opposes Kinder Morgan is letting these arrests happen,” she said.
Protect the Inlet said it anticipates more seniors and retirees to join the protests in the coming weeks, when construction on the contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is expected to ramp up.