Custom Search
Top Stories
Go to Site Index See "Top Stories" main page
Left to Right - Guujaaw - President of the Council of the Haida Nation,  John Olsen - Gitxsan Unity Movement, Rafe Mair, and Art Sterritt - Coastal First Nations
REPORTING · 16th February 2012
Merv Ritchie
Rafe Mair tells it like it is once again. On February 4, 2012, he addressed the crowd after the Gitga’at ‘No Tankers’ rally’, which saw an estimated 2000 participants and media attend.

Below is a transcript of much of his presentation. Watch the presentation on Vimeo by CLICKING HERE

“When I went to school we were taught about Indians. We were taught about the Iroquois, the Huron, the Algonquin, the Cree, not a word about any of the nations in British Columbia. So kids like me who came from upper middle class European families didn’t know anything about First Nations in British Columbia. And since our parents didn’t care neither did we.”

I’ve learned something else as I’ve came through life. Companies like Enbridge, governments like our provincial government and our federal government, don’t give a fiddlers fuck about any of you or any of the things we hold dear, not a thing.”

“The best way to kill the tankers is to kill the Enbridge project in the first place.”

Its like killing the snake, you get its head the games over. That’s what we have to do.”

“And there’s one thing I want everyone in this room tonight to promise, never again use the word risk. We’re not talking about risk, we’re talking about certainties, absolute dead certainty.”

“Don’t talk to us about money for clean up because we know they can’t clean it up.

“If you think for one second that a company with 811 spills in the last few years is going to put a pipeline of 1100 kilometers of Rockies, Coast Range, Valleys, Rivers, without having any spills then I’ve got a bridge in Vancouver I have for sale I’ll talk to you about afterwards.”

“It isn’t only that they can’t clean these things up, they can’t even get there in the first place. This isn’t Kalamazoo Michigan! We’re talking about going into the Rocky Mountains. What, will they helicopter with two or three guys with a shovel? Even if they could get the equipment in there, there’s not a damn thing they could do.”

“If that pipeline goes through it is a death sentence for all of us and all that we love, we’ve got to stop Enbridge.”

“For Gods sake, if a cruise ship, with all the skills their masters have and so on, if they can bust up in the middle of the night you can be sure there’s gunna be tankers busting up in the middle of the night and in the day time on the coast. Again, this is a certainty.”

“I think it’s good to pause for a second and realize, we’re not talking about crude oil here. We’re not talking about refined oil. We’re not talking about natural gas. We’re talking about Bitumen that claws and digs just deeper and deeper into where it lands, it makes the Exxon Valdez look like child’s play and they still haven’t cleaned that up.”

“If there is a spill of bitumen in your waters, never, until the end of time will it be cleaned up. We must understand that.”

“You are in the battle zone and you know that billions of dollars are going to be offered to you and colleagues and friends and neighbours all the way from here to the Rockies.”

“They want to get elected and they want profits, I want the land”

“And there is a way out of this.”

“Stephen Hume, a great fine columnist wrote a column the other day. If Alberta and Ottawa want it so badly want to mine this crap why not build refineries on the other side of the Rockies, take it to the US or central Canada, where ever you want and just leave us out of it.”

“There is going to come a time when all British Columbians are going to have to put up or shut up. And I am here to tell you now, and I’ve said this before publically and I’ll say it again now. When that first bulldozer appears, I’ll be there. And I am going to urge everybody in British Columbia to be there. And to stay there.”

“They talk about the rule of law. The rule of law they talk about is essentially tyranny.”

“More than ever before, we have to all be there and stand there and be prepared to go to jail if it’s necessary because it’s that important to be stopped.”

“When the government says to you, ‘We’re just making sure the market place is nice and cool and calm’, they’re lying through their goddamn teeth. And we have to understand that right now, as I said a moment ago. The enemy, the enemy is Enbridge and the enemy is the province of British Columbia, and the enemy is the government of Canada.”

“If, god forbid, the Enbridge line goes through, the pipeline succeeds, we have to make Chief photo op, Premier photo op, Premier Clark and Harper understand that no tanker is going to leave Kitimat with so much as a litre of bitumen on board. It is not going to happen, we have to make sure of that.”

“We in British Columbia are going to find out what we’re made of in the next year or two. And you know I think I could do no better in closing to quote Gerald Amos who said; ‘It is not going to happen.’ And that’s what we all have to say! It is not going to happen! And we will all be there to make sure that it doesn’t happen.”

We are standing right here!
Comment by Janice Robinson on 19th February 2012
This proposed pipeline is dirty. The politics are dirty. The tactics of Enbridge supporters are dirty. Bitumen is dirty. Ask the victims of the Exxon Valdez, who still suffer to this day.

There was no way Rafe Mair could have/should have said this in a nice way. Tell your kids that.
Comment by Terry reinert on 18th February 2012
i agree with the author. 110%. i'll be there when the dozer's are coming into b.c. but what's up? my kids are reading this stuff. they are 10 years old.... do they really have to read there first f-word on your site? maybe if you wrote "F,,,#$" i think they would still get the message without blatently spelling it out. Lets take the super bowl half time show for example. look at the public scrutiny the drummer got just for flipping the bird at the media. and here you've allowed it and spelled it right out...

I like reading your articles and i think your doing a bang up job but give your head a shake about this one. just a tad more editing is in order