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Muskrat Falls protests not over

Kirk Lethbridge, one of the protesters who entered the Muskrat Falls site and was on a hunger strike, was with a group that walked up the North Spur on Nov. 5 to see the Muskrat Falls for possibly the last time.
Kirk Lethbridge, one of the protesters who entered the Muskrat Falls site and was on a hunger strike, was with a group that walked up the North Spur on Nov. 5 to see the Muskrat Falls for possibly the last time.

A group of 20-25 protesters walked to the North Spur on Nov. 5 and held a potluck the following day at the main gates of the worksite.

Kirk Lethbridge, one of the organizers of the walk, said it was with a heavy heart they saw the Muskrat Falls in front of them.

“A lot of people cried on Saturday when we walked up there,” said Kirk Lethbridge. “Hearing the water, feeling the ground shake. There were a lot of tears. We may have seen the Muskrat Falls for the last time for some of us.”

The flooding of the reservoir started not long after the walkers left. People have protested the project since the beginning and in recent months, the issue of methylmercury created when the reservoir was flooded, was at the forefront.

Lethbridge said at the potluck they held at the main gate there was a feeling of empowerment. They crossed the line to the prohibited side of the road and did some dancing, chanting and drumming.

“People felt so empowered again,” he said. “What we’re involved in is just as much about empowering people as it is about Muskrat Falls,” he said. “The empowerment of the people of Labrador is a historic transformation. It’s taking place in front of our eyes and it’s a beautiful thing to see.”

A meeting was held in Happy Valley Goose Bay on November 1, which invited Land Protectors, walkers and Labradorians to discuss the recent agreement between the indigenous governments and the province over the flooding issue.

Lethbridge said the meeting went great and they’re not giving up.

“A lot of people were feeling very deflated and very hurt for a couple of days,” he said. “We felt our grief, we felt our hurt and we rebounded and we’re back. This fight isn’t over. This isn’t over.”

Lethbriedge said in an interview they want the world to know they’re still here and they want Nalcor to know they haven’t given up.

“A few elected people may have given up but the people haven’t,” he said. “The people got us where we are today and the people are going to keep on walking. This is just getting us going again, getting us back on track. Break time is over now.”

He said speaking to people at the meeting there seems to be a division between the elected leaders and the people. A lot of people are sore because they feel the leaders should have come to the people and ascertained how they felt first before coming to an agreement, he said.

“When you got leaders telling us when we can go home now but they didn’t bring it back to us, they just made a decision for us,” he said. “People don’t want to have their elected leaders make decisions without coming back to them on such a huge issue. This is tremendously huge issue for the people in Labrador, particularly the people in the Lake Melville area.”

When the deal was reached between the province and the indigenous groups the various leaders told the protesters to go home. Lethbridge said the agreement didn’t address the issues the people had.

“The North Spur still hasn’t been addressed,” he said. “We’re going to see that it is addressed. There’s still a lot of flooding that is scheduled to go ahead. People are hurt but we’re turning that hurt into production again.”

Kirk Lethbridge, one of the organizers of the walk, said it was with a heavy heart they saw the Muskrat Falls in front of them.

“A lot of people cried on Saturday when we walked up there,” said Kirk Lethbridge. “Hearing the water, feeling the ground shake. There were a lot of tears. We may have seen the Muskrat Falls for the last time for some of us.”

The flooding of the reservoir started not long after the walkers left. People have protested the project since the beginning and in recent months, the issue of methylmercury created when the reservoir was flooded, was at the forefront.

Lethbridge said at the potluck they held at the main gate there was a feeling of empowerment. They crossed the line to the prohibited side of the road and did some dancing, chanting and drumming.

“People felt so empowered again,” he said. “What we’re involved in is just as much about empowering people as it is about Muskrat Falls,” he said. “The empowerment of the people of Labrador is a historic transformation. It’s taking place in front of our eyes and it’s a beautiful thing to see.”

A meeting was held in Happy Valley Goose Bay on November 1, which invited Land Protectors, walkers and Labradorians to discuss the recent agreement between the indigenous governments and the province over the flooding issue.

Lethbridge said the meeting went great and they’re not giving up.

“A lot of people were feeling very deflated and very hurt for a couple of days,” he said. “We felt our grief, we felt our hurt and we rebounded and we’re back. This fight isn’t over. This isn’t over.”

Lethbriedge said in an interview they want the world to know they’re still here and they want Nalcor to know they haven’t given up.

“A few elected people may have given up but the people haven’t,” he said. “The people got us where we are today and the people are going to keep on walking. This is just getting us going again, getting us back on track. Break time is over now.”

He said speaking to people at the meeting there seems to be a division between the elected leaders and the people. A lot of people are sore because they feel the leaders should have come to the people and ascertained how they felt first before coming to an agreement, he said.

“When you got leaders telling us when we can go home now but they didn’t bring it back to us, they just made a decision for us,” he said. “People don’t want to have their elected leaders make decisions without coming back to them on such a huge issue. This is tremendously huge issue for the people in Labrador, particularly the people in the Lake Melville area.”

When the deal was reached between the province and the indigenous groups the various leaders told the protesters to go home. Lethbridge said the agreement didn’t address the issues the people had.

“The North Spur still hasn’t been addressed,” he said. “We’re going to see that it is addressed. There’s still a lot of flooding that is scheduled to go ahead. People are hurt but we’re turning that hurt into production again.”

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