Sunday, September 13, 2015

Lax Kw'alaams members on Lelu Island say that they have stopped weekend survey work in area waters

Those occupying Lelu Island said this
weekend that they have stopped a number
of attempts to start survey work on the site
The group of Lax Kw'alaam First Nation members and others that support them currently holding a protest camp on Lelu Island, have outlined a string of events over the weekend related to survey work in the area around Lelu.

Developments which saw those protesters  on the island (who describe their camp as that of an occupation camp) intercepting and stopping Pacific NorthWest LNG survey crews that were preparing to conduct work around the controversial area.

Two updates have been posted to the Facebook page that has been set up by the camp organizers related to their efforts at Lelu Island.

The string of observations, all of which are from the perspective of those currently camped on Lelu Island, offer up a glimpse of some of the emotions and intentions related to the prospect of any survey work taking place at this time.

The most recent update was posted to the page around 5 PM on Sunday, providing an account from the Lelu Island protest group, noting that two attempts on the day to start survey work had been turned back by those on the Island.

The first incident of the day took place earlier this morning, with a second attempt at 1 PM also the subject of interception. 

The Sunday standoff followed similar events from Saturday, with the same result of work stopping for the day on what appears to be planned survey and drilling work in the area.

According to those camped on the island, during the course of the Saturday events, a barge in place to conduct the work suffered mechanical issues and remained anchored in place overnight.

According to the Facebook page
Stop Pacific NorthWest LNG/Petronas on Lelu Island
the photo above shows an occupation camp skiff stopping
a survey crew from starting their work at Lelu Island this weekend 

The events of September 12th resulted in a call for assistance from the protesters, who noted that a number of boats and supporters arrived in the area for Sunday to join in on the moves to stop any further drilling and survey activity in the area at this time.

The most recent update also outlines the belief of those in the camp that another attempt will be made on Monday, when it's expected that the work crews will attempt to resume their work.

On that theme, the members of the camp occupying the island reinforced their stand that they will not permit any work to take place on the territory surrounding the Flora Banks.

The group has also noted that they have informed the Prince Rupert Port Authority that all drilling and surveying must cease.

Neither Pacific NorthWest LNG or the Prince Rupert Port Authority have provided to this point a response on their websites, or other social media options, as to the weekend developments.

The Vancouver Sun today published a story offering more background and commentary from those currently on Lelu Island, with Lax Kw'alaams member Joey Wesley serving as the spokesperson for the group currently occupying Lelu Island.

The Sun also provided the first comments from the Prince Rupert Port Authority, noting "that they respect people’s right to express their opinion safely and peacefully, but noted they have patrol boats in the harbour and anybody jeopardizing safety will be asked to stop."

More background on the Pacific NorthWest LNG project and those that are protesting it can be found on our archive page here.

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