Swamp Line 9 Trial Statement

Barricades at Line 9 Pump Station, June 25

Barricades at Line 9 Pump Station, June 25

from Swamp Line 9

Trish Mills was charged for her part in stopping construction at an Enbridge pipeline pump station in Ontario for 6 days in June.

Trish’s Statement to the Court

(or at least it was supposed be, but the judge would not allow her to address the court.)

Today I plead guilty to the charge of mischief.

It is a charge I received for interrupting operations at an Enbridge oil pumping station for a total of six days.

I accept responsibility for my actions, and all which that entails.

My understanding is that this is the type of personal accountability the court wishes to hear.

That said, it is this same moral strength which saw me charged in the first place.

I believe in honouring the land, water and all living things, and that they deserve our respect and protection.

I believe that the communities, treaties and teachings of first nations people deserve our reverence.

Enbridge’s line 9 is a risk to all of these things – both here in Ontario and in a broader context so I see my actions this past summer was nothing less than a harmony between my actions and my principles.

I believe in what I did then and I believe in it now, and I understand that that is not what the court wishes to hear.

But this action was one of necessity, borne of a failed and exclusionary regulatory process. Other means were tried, and failed, because today’s political climate encourages the exploitation of land, water and people.

I know that it would be easier –and safer – to stand here and lie. To show full remorse and voice regret as I’ve been told to do. But I can’t’ do that because, no matter what sentence is handed down today, I have to be able to live with my actions and their implications.

This isn’t to say I have no regrets at all; I have several.

I regret that this action may have put some people of Westover in a difficult situation.

I regret if an individual was hurt by my actions.

I especially regret that action like this must be taken at all, and that people are being criminalized for defending such fundamental things.

And so in making a decision about sentencing today, I wish to remind the court that despite a lack of remorse I have consideration fir others. I do positive things for people and my community through activism, education, advocacy and volunteer work.

I aim to work in animal rescue, and have deferred acceptance into a program.

There was also no person hurt by my actions – physically or financially. It is Enbridge policy to pay their workers in these situations.

Finally, I gained no extrinsic reward for my actions, however I did risk -and I stand here risking — plenty.

My journey these past months has been both interesting and challenging, though not impossible. I have learned much.

To my supporters here today –in case for some reason I can’t tell you later – take note.

NOT. Impossible.

There may not ever be any real victory in the courts, but there is always victory in doing what you feel is right.

Don’t give up.

No tarsands. No line 9.

on THURSDAY JAN 9 th ( @ 9am, check the board for room number) Gary Wassaykeesic will be taking his charge from Swamp Line 9 to trial! Gary is a first nations activist passionate about many things and was initially charged with “break & enter” for asserting his indigenous sovereignty on native land.

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