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UPDATE: Pipeline protestors occupy James Moore's Port Moody office

Amanda Nahhanee, a protestor who spoke with The Tri-City News through an open mail slot at Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam MP James Moore
Amanda Nahhanee, a protestor who spoke with The Tri-City News through an open mail slot at Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam MP James Moore's office on Wednesday, said the federal government needs to reverse its decision on the Northern Gateway pipeline.
— image credit: GARY McKENNA/THE TRI-CITY NEWS

Protestors were arrested in Port Moody Wednesday after occupying Tri-City Conservative MP James Moore's office in protest of Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline.

Nine people entered the office of the Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam MP, who is also B.C.'s senior regional cabinet minister, at around 10 a.m. and said they would not leave until the government reversed its decision to allow the construction of the line. Another group gathered outside the building with signs to show their support.

But by 4 p.m., the office was closed and police removed several protestors and arrested four for trespassing.

Anjali Appadurai, a spokesperson for the group, said despite the charges, she believes the demonstration was a success.

"I think the symbolic value of the action was upheld," she said. "Our message was to say that people are ready to come out of the woodwork and start garnering mass engagement in opposition to this pipeline and future projects."

Moore was out of town at the time of the demonstration but staff were working at his office while the protest took place.

According to Amanda Nahanee, one of the demonstrators, employees at the office drew the blinds and locked everyone inside the building. She addressed the media through a mail slot.

She said those involved in the demonstration are concerned citizens not affiliated with any single environmental organization.

"We all have really strong opinions and we believe Northern Gateway is not a great opportunity for B.C.," she said. "We want him to reject Northern Gateway."

Port Moody Police Department's spokesperson, Const. Luke van Winkel, told The Tri-City News police were in contact with both the protestors and office employees throughout the demonstration. Staff had told police that the protestors were demonstrating peacefully and could stay in the building until the end of the business day, he said

"The protestors have been informed that the office will be closing at 4 p.m. and that all parties must exit the building upon its closure," he said at 2 p.m. Wednesday. "It is our hope that everyone will leave peacefully without requiring police intervention."

Calls for comment from Moore were not returned by The Tri-City News' print deadline.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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