Monday April 15 - Support Climate Necessity Defendants!

Kyle Farquharson

Dear friends and allies of Climate Convergence,

I've been involved with Climate Convergence since 2016. Last year, I was arrested for blocking construction activities at one of the Trans Mountain Pipeline facilities on Burnaby Mountain.

I'm honoured to stand with the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and other First Nations who have inhabited this land since time immemorial, understand the danger that this pipeline represents, and have invited many non-Indigenous activists, including me, to join them in a collective struggle for our children's future. The leadership of Indigenous peoples has been central to the fight for a decent future for all the living beings, and has played a key role in the resistance to Trans Mountain as well.

Getting arrested for civil disobedience isn't for everyone, but is quite an enlightening experience. One of the things I've learned is just how much time and paper goes into a legal case...

On that score, let me tell you a bit about the legal situation. Along with four other defendants, I plan to present a climate necessity defence in court. In other words, we'll argue that the crisis of climate change is so urgent that, even though my action in blocking a gate at one of Trans Mountain's facilities was in violation of a court-ordered injunction, the offence we committed should be excused.

As you know, time is really of the essence here: a special report of the IPCC last year affirmed that we have just over a decade to make a dramatic transition in the way we live, get around, produce food, and generate energy, if we're going to avoid exceeding the warming threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius. There is no room for new fossil fuel infrastructure like the Trans Mountain Pipeline in the successful transition scenarios the IPCC lays out.

To be honest, my fellow defendants and I are facing pretty long odds. But the good news is, we have an amazing and very dedicated lawyer, and there have been encouraging developments lately, especially in the U.S. where climate activists have been acquitted or had charges dropped after taking direct action and being arrested and charged.

The hope is that if we are successful, our trial will set a precedent for activists in Canada trying to resist the development of new fossil fuel projects moving forward.

If you're free and interested, I'd welcome your attendance this coming Monday, April 15 at the B.C. Supreme Court near Hornby and Smithe in downtown Vancouver. To find out where we'll be, check the trial list next to the security desk inside the Smithe St. entrance.

Court battles are expensive, so anything you're able to contribute to help defray costs is greatly appreciated too. You can donate via the website of Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE): The "Donate" button is at the top of the home page; just be sure to specify "CND" (for Climate Necessity Defendants) in the Name field.

Thanks so much for your support!

Warmest regards, love, and solidarity,

Kyle Farquharson
Climate Convergence organizer, activist, and rebel with a cause