“I was a quiet person, not one to speak out. All of this came from me speaking at one neighbourhood meeting. I stood up and shared my concerns about the pipeline, and was amazed to hear that others felt the same. I now know we are all part of a global movement.”
The Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association sprung from Lynaya’s words, a new all-grassroots organization bringing together residents of Red Head, a small community just east of the City of Saint John, New Brunswick, to resist Transcanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline. The largest pipeline ever proposed in North America, it would carry 1.1 million barrels of diluted bitumen from the tar sands of Alberta to Red Head for export. Since her initial concerns for Red Head Lynaya has dived deeply into organizing towards global climate justice, attending marches and rallies as far afield as the 25,000-person strong Act on Climate march in Quebec City, to which she carried a sign reading Red Head/Anthony’s Cove: We are the “End of the Line” for Energy East. She has written editorials, organized actions, led meetings and connected with other activists working on the frontlines of fossil fuel extraction and processing around the world. She was instrumental to organizing the unprecedented action that took place in Red Head on May 30th, 2015, a 700 person March to the End of the Line to demonstrate the blossoming resistance to Energy East that she planted the seed for in her community.
A representative from Transcanada visited Lynaya in her home in the spring of 2014. The corporation had begun buying land in her neighbourhood in preparation for building the terminus of the pipeline. The woman told her that they had no interest in purchasing her home, and Lynaya realized she would have to stay. “It was then that I started reading all about climate change and realized how much bigger this was than Red Head. I now think it was fate that put me here to fight this.” There is no such thing as un-knowing in climate justice work, and Lynaya can’t imagine slowing down anytime soon. “I want to be able to look my two nieces in the eye in twenty years and tell them that I did absolutely everything I could.”