Creative Activism with the Coast Protectors

Sammy joined a creative activism protest with an amazing group of artists and the water protectors, He processed the heavy but super important subject by writing them bit by bit. We invite you to hear him out and share their experiences with your communities. These are very important, humane and personal informations. In the mean time, Sammy encourages you to go to the Protect the Inlet website, donate, contact or follow them to see what you can support them to continually doing the work for all of us and for our future generations to come.

Please enjoy his reflections and posts below.

Part One

last night the water protectors hosted us with food, sharing wisdom and the scared fire, we share our tea while meditating for the land, the mother earth and our action for today to protest against the big oil. It rained and rained, really reminded me why we are here, it really pulled us together. The fire was so scared, especially being with such amazing groups of people, who are so altruistic and so giving, it immediately brought me out of that mode of being stuck in the our mundane everyday work, to pay attention and actually being part of this greater issue. It’s quite a feeling of transitions towards awakening and recalibrating our frequencies—quite an ineffable and profound feeling. We stayed in the watch house, built by the indigenous people, traditionally use as a way to protect the land from intruders. Such a humbling experience to rest there with the blessing from the ancestors of the land.

A post shared by Sammy Chien (@soar55) on

Part Two

We gone through some important trainings, legal rights and protocols as protesters to keep ourselves safe and to make sure we are grounded and avoid any types of violence. I learnt quite a bit about how to protect ourselves from the police and if there are other aggressive protesters showed up. It really reminded me of being part of the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan years ago. Sleeping over on occupied sites, healing space and intelligent people, highly organized and non-violent, super respectful, giving and kind to each other. You need to be there to really understand who these people are, and who’s been fighting for us, for our mother-earth and for our grandchildren.

A post shared by Sammy Chien (@soar55) on

Part Three

We marched and sang the anti-pipeline songs and traditional songs from the Coast Salish people, with our art and banners, marching towards the Kinder Morgan gate.
As soon as we arrived, we helped Kinder Morgan decorated the gate with our art, creativity and love. The elders offered smudging the negative energy in the space, for the workers there, since they are innocent, and everyone deserves a chance to heal and have the opportunity to choose the right path. Of course our goal is to stop Kinder Morgan from continuing the pipeline expansion, so anyway to obstruct their process helps.

A post shared by Sammy Chien (@soar55) on

Part Four

the police were called immediately by workers at Kinder Morgan, the RCMP arrived soon after.  This is the scary moment to decide how much you’re able to risk, to risking arrest or to stand in solidarity, to support the protestors. Our goal is to create as much voice as possible, to gain more attention from the public, from media and really let people know about these greater issues, also to hold off as much time as possible to delay Kinder Morgan’s environmental damaging progress. Over 12-15 police officers came, one indigenous activist said “they’re here to protect the colonizers but not the land” the colonizer’s profit despite the land may be destroyed. I have to say though, the police were being very respectful, they were just doing their job, we shared a very strange mutual respect and almost a unspoken consensus that we are both just doing our work here. As the indigenous elder/leader thanking them for their non-violent actions, respect and acknowledging that it’s not their fault, and even offered them for smudging. It was such a powerful and deeply humane interaction.

A post shared by Sammy Chien (@soar55) on

Part Five

wisdom sharing, inclusivity, very peaceful protest

A post shared by Sammy Chien (@soar55) on

Part Six

The people who decided to risk arrest, which means they remain sitting on the ground peacefully at the gate of Kinder Morgan, the polices comes to arrest them one by one slowly, while the rest of us try our best to hold space for them as careful and peaceful as we can. The first person who got arrested is the indigenous leader’s niece, he asked us to sing a song for her strength, he said thank you to her as the police takes her away, I was almost in tears seeing this. The next person is the artist who made most of the signs that we were carrying, probably the one of most powerful part of her work is at this very moment, for her fish and birds to speak out with us in this way. The last person is Pia, my dear teacher/friend who also initiated this creative activism event. I know so much about her, I know she’s not scared at all as she’s been in much worse scenario before. I have so so so much respect for this women, as I always do. The arrest was very peaceful, civilized and respectful.  I guess the non-Canadians would think this is a very typical Canadian thing. I followed them, found out that these officers are really kind and polite, most of them are POC too, the city is really changing! I got to hear a bit of the conversation, even though it can be a bit touchy to know the fact that they sent an Asian police because they’re arresting an half Asian protestor, but I can appreciate their afford… I was watching the officer’s body language and his eyes carefully, he was really gentle and kind. In the conversation Pia found out that officer Chen was saving money to adopt a child, and he privately thanked her for doing what she’s doing. WOW.. such kind hearted and humane side of the police reveals so gently. But then the gates opened up, and Kinder Morgan’s trucks approaches the gate…

A post shared by Sammy Chien (@soar55) on

Part Seven

Kinder Morgan ambushed a bunch of trucks and waiting for their action to re-enter. Our people either got arrested or had to step aside. As we watch the trucks drive in. As I watch some of the indigenous land protectors cry. The art works at the gate were taken down. The gates were open. They continue their work. We continued our work, as we peacefully marched back to the camp, we sang, we cried, we smiled. We know that this is just one small part of the much much bigger work, it’s a long battle, and this is just a small section of it. As the indigenous elder shared their story of the humming birds, we honour every little work that is being done, every little thing that we can do counts, yes it counts. We were able to slow down this multi million corporations progress for a few hours, and more hours, more days, more months, it can add up, until something changes, until they give up. This is the power of the people.
I want to thank Pia for initiating this, thank Mary, Hayley, Henry and many other woke settlers who hosted us, held space for us and guided us through this protest journey. I want to thank the elders, the Coast Salish people, especially the Tsleil-Waututh people for protecting this part of the land for centuries. This journey wasn’t just a protest, but a deep healing, heart opening, wisdom sharing and love understanding journey. I trust the people that I know, that I connect deeply with. I see them working for something much much greater, compared to our tiny capitalist concerns. These people are truly amazing and wonderful humans. I hope to share their voices to the world and honour their hard work that they’re doing for the world. Don’t let greed, prejudice, ignorance and the awful media distort their afford.

A post shared by Sammy Chien (@soar55) on

Share Post :

Related Posts

Leave a Reply