Citizens of London, Ontario have built a 30 foot black snake puppet

By on March 31, 2014

Citizens of London, Ontario have built a 30 foot black snake puppet to represent Enbridge’s dangerous Line 9 pipeline, which runs just north of London. The Line 9 Snake’s debut was at Queens Park, Toronto, on March 7:
and its London debut will be Monday, March 31, 5:00 pm, at the Forks of the Thames. .

Londoners will rally at the Forks to honour our river, from its headwaters to Lake St. Clair, where our water flows through the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. Poets, speakers, and musicians will stand up for protection of our fresh water sources, while warning of the imminent danger represented by the National Energy Board (NEB) approval, on March 6, of a new phase in the operation of Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline.

The “Snake Walk” will cross the Bridge over the Thames, and the Line 9 Snake will then slither up Dundas St. to meet musicians and activists from the travelling “Spring Thaws Pipe Line Melt Down Tour” at East Village Coffee House, NE corner of Dundas and English at 7:00 pm. Food and beverages will be available for purchase and donations will be accepted to support
Unist’ot’en Camp
and Reclaim Turtle Island

On March 6, the NEB approved the reversal of Line 9 pipeline flow, increased pressure, and transportation of dilbit, which is thick abrasive and corrosive diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands, thinned with a mixture of toxic and flammable solvents, including benzene, in the 38 year old pipeline. This approval was without an independent environmental assessment and without approval of the First Nations whose land is crossed.

“The vast distance covered by tar sands pipelines will make toxic spills an inevitability. If this project goes forward it will devastate our health, our communities, the land, and the water that we all need to thrive.” comments Sâkihitowin Awâsis, a Métis environmental justice advocate.

London is one of many communities between Sarnia and Montreal to share their neighbourhood with Enbridge’s Line 9. Marchers accompanying the Line 9 Snake will hand out leaflets with a map of the Line 9 route just north of London, crossing the Thames at Plover Mills (Thames Centre):

The purpose of the march is to raise awareness of the proximity of the pipeline to London as well as its threat to the Thames River and to the Great Lakes, the source of our drinking water. In 2010 a similar Enbridge pipeline ruptured, spilling 3.8 million litres of dilbit into the Kalamazoo River, near Marshall, Michigan. The heavy bitumen sank to the bottom of the river, and over three years later it is still not cleaned up.  Flammability is another concern. Bakken crude, which caused the explosion in Lac-Mégantic, has also been approved for Line 9.
See Rising Tide Toronto’s “Not Worth the Risk” report:

“Most of us do not know what would happen in the case of a spill into the Thames. We have questions about emergency preparedness teams, first responders, liability, and jurisdictions.” says Council of Canadians London Chair, Roberta Cory. Rod Morley, the previous Chair, adds: “If civilization is to remain on this planet any new oil and gas exploration or development needs to end and instead the development of alternative energy sources are needed.”

Citizens of London are now completing a second snake puppet, the 30 foot blue Water Snake.  The Water Snake represents the guardian of springs and waterways, the feminine viewpoint, and life affirming values. It will make its first appearance at the Water Rights Film Festival on Friday, April 4, 6:00 pm, at Museum London and will return on Satuday and Sunday at 1:00 pm for the remainder of the festival. Both snake puppets are operated by one person holding up the head and 11 people holding up the body. Both snakes are taking bookings for future engagements: the Line 9 Snake will walk in cities and towns along the Line 9 pipeline corridor, and the Water Snake will appear in Ingersoll to support OPAL Alliance (Oxford People Against the Landfill) at their Earth Day event on April 26th:

You must be logged in to post a comment Login