Barbara Hansen already had a heart for justice when she arrived as a student at CCS. In fact, she met her spouse, Stephen, at a hearing in Calgary about the Mackenzie pipeline 42 years ago. On April 28 of this year, the 2014 CCS graduate boarded a bus with about 48 other people from Vancouver Island, to stand in solidarity with the Water Protectors in opposition of the Trans Mountain pipeline at the Kinder Morgan site in Burnaby, BC.
What made her catch a 7 a.m. ferry to spend a Saturday outside in the rain? Both her sense of being called to a ministry of standing with the marginalized and oppressed, and her belief that ministry includes all of creation. Barbara said, “Sadly, the process for the Trans Mountain pipeline misrepresents the issues and the fairness of the results of the process. The rights of Indigenous people are not being respected, and because the cost of being heard is still prohibitive their voices are not being heard. Their traditional way of life, inclusive of all creation towards the future, is being ignored for the sake of “progress”, resulting in increased emissions and environmental impacts from fossil fuels.
“In 2018 when people choose actions of civil disobedience at the gates of Kinder Morgan and intentionally block the gate, the police will come,” she continued. “We witnessed people willing to be arrested, willing to go to court, people of faith among them.” Seven faith leaders were arrested for violating the court-issued injunction on April 28. Over 200 people have been arrested since March 10.
“As followers of Jesus – and I add, especially as people who are privileged because of our occupation of indigenous lands and our excessive use of environmentally damaging fossil fuels – we are called to action on the side of the oppressed. How else can we be?”
From the CCS publication, Tapestry, Spring 2018
Barbara Hansen is a diaconal minister and 2014 CCS graduate.
More on Kinder Morgan.
CCS graduate and Communications Coordinator Kimiko Karpoff’s photo essay and reflection on the Kinder Morgan protest appeared in the United Church Observer on-line. Link to it here.