At least 26 people were arrested on Thursday as police moved to clear protesters off Burnaby Mountain to allow Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) workers to escalate work and surveying on the Trans Mountain pipeline project.
Protesters and First Nations elders had set up a makeshift camp as they looked to limit access to the site. RCMP officers moved in on the area after a BC Supreme Court injunction banned protesters from interfering with Kinder Morgan's work. Police arrived on scene, telling protesters that if they moved away from the property they would not be arrested. Those who did not comply were arrested. Some chained themselves to trees, while others locked themselves to various pieces of equipment to discourage police arrests. Clashes broke out between the two groups as police attempted to move protesters back to a designated protest zone. The American company, which has also launched a lawsuit against several citizens it alleges obstructed and interfered with ongoing field studies, has a tense relationship with the city of Burnaby and its municipal government. Derek Corrigan, the recently re-elected mayor of the city, has been vocal in his criticism of the project and the possible harm it could cause the local environment. The city is facing off against the company in the Supreme Court as well as the Federal Court. In a statement, Kinder Morgan said workers had arrived on site around noon to begin preparing the work sites for field studies. "We are pleased that the majority of people occupying the area complied with the order and continue to exercise their right to express their views in a respectful manner, while allowing our team to begin work safely," it reads.