A group of protesters broke into a fuel loading site in the Port of Montreal to demand the closure of a pipeline that activists say threatens Quebec’s freshwater resources.
The Antigone Collective, a group associated with Extinction Rebellion, took credit for the protest. In a statement shared with MTL Blog, he said 20 members are participating, six of whom have climbed a loading tower. Six others are sequestered in a concrete container at the entrance to the site, the group says.
The pipeline in question, Enbridge Line 9, transports crude oil from Sarnia to Hamilton, Ontario (line 9A) and from Hamilton to Montreal (line 9B) via the North Shore and Laval. According to Enbridge, Line 9 can transport up to 300,000 barrels per day.
The collective says its goal is three-fold: to pressure stakeholders to create a plan to close the Line 9B pipeline, to raise awareness of the pipeline’s perceived threat to drinking water, and to force “an immediate reduction in the amount of oil flowing through the pipeline to prevent spills”. ”
Activists are also calling for the establishment of a leak detection system and a “significant strengthening” of emergency plans in the event of an occurrence.
“A leak from Line 9B would threaten the drinking water of millions of Quebecers,” Antigone member Jacob Pirro said in a statement. The pipeline crosses the Ottawa River, the Mille Îles River and the Des Prairies River between Laval and Montreal.
“It is urgent to defend ourselves! What are we waiting for to stop these dangerous activities?”
On social networks, Antigone posted videos of individuals claiming to be members of the demonstration in Montreal East.
“We decided to stay here as long as possible in order to close the 9B line,” an activist said in a video claiming to be in a container.
Montreal police described Wednesday morning’s protest as “quiet.” SPVM spokesperson Raphaël Bergeron said officers were on site to monitor the situation.