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Statement from the South Fraser Protection Camp

by Stop the Pave

"Opposition is rising, the movement is growing.  This freeway can still be stopped."
"Opposition is rising, the movement is growing. This freeway can still be stopped."

For the past two weeks, the South Fraser Protection Camp has impeded the destruction of an important, historic area of North Delta.  Along the steep banks of the Fraser River, many people stood together to protect historic archaeological sites, the health of local residents and school children and to oppose the climate crime that is the South Fraser Perimeter Road.

However, those who profit from destroying this hillside have made it clear to us that they are willing to use their money, police and courts to clear our peaceful encampment by force.

Faced with an injunction, we decided to retrench the South Fraser Protection Camp. We sincerely thank all involved in making this camp a success, especially the many local residents and our friends and allies from all the affected communities along the proposed freeway alignment, for their generosity and spirit, for the food and coffee, and the conversations, which will continue.  We greatly appreciated the honks of support, and the kind words of solidarity which poured in from across the country and abroad.

While there is plenty of evidence that the province is cutting corners on environmental protection, and breaking their own laws in the mad rush to build this freeway, we recognize that our greatest strength is in the streets and on the ground, rather than in the courts. We want you to know that we do this today so that we can continue the fight. We do not want our people tied up in costly legal battles; our movement must continue to confront the bulldozers, corporate head offices, and their bought politicians.

The camp has played an important role in building alliances amongst people from many different backgrounds, sharing resources and educating ourselves and our communities about the many impacts of the SFPR, and the Gateway project as a whole.  Because of this camp, today we stand stronger, more united, and more determined than ever to gain ground in this struggle.

We are calling on all those who oppose this blatant climate crime and the clear-cutting and paving over of: Native burial grounds, Burns Bog, the mouths of many of the remaining salmon bearing streams in Delta and Surrey, the neighbourhoods and farms along the proposed freeway; and the resulting pollution and threats to our health, from children to our elders...  Opposition is rising, the movement is growing.  This freeway can still be stopped.

We are now gathering to plan our next steps to take this fight forward, and we invite you to contact us if you wish to be involved in our mobilizations: info@stopthepave.org / www.stopthepave.org

We also also will be holding a public meeting for people to learn more about history of this area under threat, and offer your concerns and ideas on strategy: Thursday, May 19, 6pm at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 12666 72 Ave, Surrey (Conference Centre, Room G1205).

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