Mt Polley Blockade Ends – For Now
Likely, B.C. – Things are back too normal at the Mt Polley mine in Likely.
This following a blockade by the Secwepemc Women’s Warrior Society yesterday.
“There were a few activists that gathered at the entrance to the access road to the mine yesterday,” said Imperial Metals spokesperson Steve Robertson.
“Their numbers grew throughout the day. There wasn’t much in the way of blockade activity until late in the afternoon when they were not allowing vehicles to go in and were slowing down vehicles that were going out. But that lasted for a short period of time and the activists were all gone by early evening.”
And though it temporarily kept around 100 workers from starting their afternoon shift, he noted “there was no interruption in the operation and everybody was able to get to work safely.”
United Steelworkers president Paul French said his members were eventually able to detour their away around the blockade and start their shifts.
Secwepemc Women’s Warrior Society spokesperson Kanahus Freedom said the blockade was in protest to the provincial government’s decision to allow the mine to return to full production in June.
She also warned her group will be heard from again.
“As long as Imperial Metals and the government that backs them continue to devastate our lands with no accountability, we will take whatever action necessary to defend out lands,” said Freedom.
“There will be an escalation in resistance, solidarity and pressure against their corporate interests. Today’s (Thursday’s) blockade is just the beginning.”
“Well we’ve been hearing ongoing dialogue from the group for several years now and they’ve never indicated that their activism is going to be finished or take a hiatus at all,” Robertson responded. “I’m sure we’ll continue to hear from them as time goes on.”
The blockade took place on the two-year anniversary of the devastating tailings pond breach.