ROTHENBURGER – Protests and arrests were played out in a familiar script

(Image: Facebook)

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 opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9052 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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