blockadeNorthYork

Via Metro News :

A group of around a dozen protesters have blockaded an Enbridge construction site near Dufferin St. and Finch Ave. W., in opposition to plans to reverse and boost the flow of the Line 9 pipeline.

The protest Monday comes in solidarity with a group of protesters at an Enbridge site near Woodstock, where five were arrested Sunday night.

Though Monday’s protest had already been in the works, Sunday’s arrests added “fire” to their efforts, according to media representative Umair Muhammad.

Muhammad and the dozen or so protesters represent a group of Toronto residents involved in the movement against Line 9, who call themselves Citizens Response Unit for Decontaminating our Environment (CRUDE).

Since Enbridge announced plans to reverse Line 9, which previously flowed west from Montreal, to carry Alberta tarsands oil to eastern refineries, there have been protests by various organizations, including indigenous activists Idle No More.

Concerns include the potential for environmental damage similar to the Kalamazoo River oil spill in Michigan in 2010. That spill led to substantial damage, made exponentially worse by slow response time.

Muhammad also said that there has not been sufficient consultation with communities regarding the move, including indigenous ones.

“Reversal is going to end up resulting in tarsands being transported through the pipeline,” Muhammad said. “And that’s something of concern, because we continue to expand production of the tarsands in Alberta, and that’s going in completely the wrong direction as far as the situation for the climate is considered.”

About 16 protesters arrived around 7 a.m., according to Muhammad, but their numbers dwindled closer to a dozen by mid-morning.

Enbridge spokesperson Graham White said in an email that the company has been in contact with the protesters, and that currently they are preventing work from being done on the site “to help make an already safe line even safer for the people of Toronto.”

“We have been in contact with protesters and police and are working for a peaceful and orderly resolution,” White said.

Muhammad denied that anyone from Enbridge had been in contact with the group.

Toronto police Staff Sgt. Frank Partridge told the Star that police were on scene, trying to encourage protesters to leave voluntarily.

But Muhammad said the group had no intention of leaving. “We’re not really interested in getting up and leaving … we’re here to stay for now.

“It’ll at least be today, and we don’t know beyond that.”