THE DRAMA THAT PLAYED OUT at Trans Mountain work sites in Kamloops the past week and a half could have been written in advance. Same plot, same story line, same pictures as we’ve seen so many times before.
First, a protest camp is set up. The protesters proclaim that they are defenders of the land and the air and the water. They identify themselves as members of a certain group. There are ceremonies with sacred fires and offerings to ancestors.
Second, the protesters infringe on company property, perhaps chaining themselves to a gate, staging a sitdown or sitting on top of heavy equipment. They insist they have a legal right because they are responsible only to Secwepemc law. They say they alone represent the interests of the Secwepemc people.
Third, RCMP arrive, inform the protesters they’re violating a court order, and remove them. Associates of those who are being arrested snap photos and take video.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.