June 17, 2013 | Someone needs to explain to me why wanting clean drinking water makes you an activist, and why proposing to destroy water with chemical warfare doesn’t make a corporation a terrorist.
I’m in South Dakota today, sort of a ground zero for the XL Keystone Pipeline, that pipeline, owned by a Canadian Corporation which will export tar sands oil to the rest of the world. This is the heart of the North American continent here. Bwaan Akiing is what we call this land-Land of the Lakota. There are no pipelines across it, and beneath it is the Oglalla Aquifer wherein lies the vast majority of the water for this region. The Lakota understand that water is life, and that there is no new water. It turns out, tar sands carrying pipelines (otherwise called “dilbit”) are sixteen times more likely to break than a conventional pipeline, and it seems that some ranchers and Native people, in a new Cowboy and Indian Alliance, are intent upon protecting that water.
This community understands the price of protecting land. And, the use of military force upon a civilian community- carrying an acute memory of the over 133,000 rounds of ammunition fired by the National Guard upon Lakota people forty years ago in the Wounded Knee standoff. That experience is coming home again, this time in Mi’gmaq territory.
Whose values will prevail?
What value will it be?
The values of the people and the fact that they consider water valuable?
Or the values of the corporations and wealthy oligarchies and their valuing of profit and fossil fuels?
Quebec and New Brunswick in Canada: a war of values between the people and Southwestern Energy Company(SWN), a Texas based company working in Canada, oligarchies like the New Brunswick Irving family empire which stretches from oil and gas to media, as well as being the largest employer in New Brunswick and the primary proponents of the Trans Canada West to East pipeline.
It must be remembered that:
Canada is the home to 75% of the worlds mining corporations, and they have tended to have relative impunity in the Canadian courts. Canadian corporations and their international subsidiaries are being protected by military forces elsewhere, and this concerns many. According to a U.K. Guardian story, a Québec Court of Appeal rejected a suit by citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo against Montreal-based Anvil Mining Limited for allegedly providing logistical support to the DRC army as it carried out a massacre, killing as many as 100 people in the town of Kilwa near the company's silver and copper mine. The Supreme Court of Canada later confirmed that Canadian courts had no jurisdiction over the company's actions in the DRC when it rejected the plaintiffs' request to appeal. Kairos Canada, a faith-based organization, concluded that the Supreme Court's ruling would "have broader implications for other victims of human rights abuses committed by Canadian companies and their chances of bringing similar cases to our courts".