A group of environmental activists called Portland Rising Tide protested at the Port of Vancouver’s main offices on Friday morning. The activists aimed to denounce the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project in Canada and the materials for the pipeline that come through the Port of Vancouver.
The protest was scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. and continue until 2:30 p.m., according to the group’s press release. Port communications director Heather Stebbings confirmed at about 10:45 a.m. that a protest was underway, and later described the group as consisting of about 50 people. No arrests had been made as of 11 a.m., according to activist Dylan Plummer, and he didn’t expect any arrests on Friday. Stebbings said the protesters had not disrupted any port activities.
“They are just peacefully demonstrating in front of the port,” Stebbings said.
Rising Tide and another activist group called Mosquito Fleet have staged several demonstrations at the port in the last six months to protest the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion. The existing Trans Mountain Pipeline carries crude oil from the Alberta tar sands to the British Columbia coast for export. The expansion project would add a second parallel line that would nearly triple the system’s capacity.
Pipe construction materials are being unloaded from ships at the Port of Vancouver and loaded onto trains for the final leg of the journey to Canada. The climate protesters have criticized the port for allowing its facilities to be used to ship pipeline components, arguing that it violates the port’s pledges to combat climate change.
Past demonstrations have involved physically blocking port operations by standing on rail tracks or maneuvering kayaks in the Columbia River to prevent ships from docking, but the plan for Friday’s protest appeared to be a rally at the port’s administrative offices.