Last Thursday, Tamo Campos, grandson of environmental activist David Suzuki, was arrested by RCMP officers. Following court injunction to remove the protest encampment site hindering Kinder-Morgan surveyor crews from beginning the test drilling stage of their work, RCMP offers began to arrest protestors that violated the court orders and crossed police lines.
During the weekend, The Nature of Things host not only wrote a letter supporting the actions of his grandson Campos that was then published on Facebook, but also came out to Burnaby Mountain yesterday afternoon to deliver a passionate speech to police.
Below is Suzuki’s letter to Campos:
Tamo Campos is my grandson and I am very proud of him. He is doing what I would have done myself were it not a risk to my position as host of The Nature of Things on CBC.
The world is on a collision course with the things that keep us alive and healthy – the air, water, soil and variety of life. Corporations, especially those with head offices in some other part of the country or the world care little for the interests of local ecosystems or communities, except in so far as they interfere with the drive to maximize profit for shareholders. They have no obligation to protect local ecosystems or local communities. Their sole goal is to make as much money as they can get away with.
All over the world, local citizens and communities are standing up to protect their ecological, social and economic interests against these invading entities that behave like thugs, intimidating with SLAPP suits and using every legal tool, anything to keep on their destructive path while avoiding the important issues like climate change and threat of spills being raised by protesters.
I say all this to set the action of Tamo and others in context. Tamo is fighting for the world that will be left to his generation in the future. I believe what Kinder Morgan and companies like it are doing is an intergenerational crime but there are no legal precedents to pursue criminal charges on that basis.
Before corporations had become so powerful, every generation aspired to leave a better future to their children. That is not on the corporate agenda. I beg you to consider the fact that there are few legal avenues to protest what I believe is criminal activity of corporations like Kinder Morgan so citizens are being forced to participate in civil disobedience. Are we so blinded by the power and influence of corporations that their short sighted agendas are above consideration of their potential of catastrophic ecological and social consequences?
My grandson is taking an active role in the struggle for human rights, social justice and environmental protection, he is not a criminal. He has done this without attempting to ride on or hide behind my coat tails. He is a role model for young people today, inspiring them to get involved in issues of their future. I hope the court will be cognizant of this.
David Suzuki, Emeritus professor, UBC
Campos, a retired professional snowboarder, co-founded Beyond Boarding, an organization aimed at spreading humanitarian work within the snowboarding community. 34 Kinder-Moran-related arrests have so far been made including public figures like SFU professor Lynne Quarmby and author J.B. MacKinnon.