News Release, Edmonton, Alberta.
At approximately 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 10, fourteen RCMP led by Dan McDermid, Commanding Officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police “K” Division, stormed the week-old ‘Winter Camp for Justice in the Oilpatch’. In a matter of minutes the large 4-room quinzee, with a capacity of 20 people, was levelled.
At the time, just one winter protester was present. Jerry Paschen was flabbergasted. “Just a few moments earlier a family was crawling through the quinzee with flashlights. It was a very harmonious place.” When the 14 RCMP moved in, Jerry had butterflies in his stomach.
The winter protesters were served notice to remove their possessions on the grounds that, among other things, it was damaging the lawn. “How ridiculous” quipped Don Friske, quinzee founder and snow crafter. “While we appreciate the RCMP’s concern for the health of the lawn, we wonder how they can turn a blind eye to millions of acres of poisoned earth. They ignore flaming water faucets and toxic sour gas flair stacks 150 metres from family residences” said Friske.
Within moments the waiting bobcat tractor turned the quinzee snowhouse to powder.
“We were only joking when we plotted the progress of our snow tunnelling operations worming toward their headquarters ” quipped Paul Belanger, protest advisor.
The RCMP has moved from oil shed explosions to snow house implosions. The demonstrators express solidarity with the 30 Nigerians killed last week by Shell and Chevron in Nigeria.
If it’s justice the RCMP are after, they might protect the public’s right to clean air, water, and soil by enforcing environmental regulations and defending community interests rather than colluding with industry.
The Winter Camp for Justice in the Oilpatch is now stragetizing further actions, possibly involving other quinzees and/or tepees.