Saturday’s anti-Kinder Morgan pipeline rally and march wasn’t the biggest of the past year or two, but it was important because it kicked off the unofficial protest season as the company prepares to begin construction of the 610-mile project that will ship 590,000 barrels per day (Mbbl/d) of Alberta oil sands crude from Edmonton to the West Coast. As the Canadian government reaffirms its support for Trans Mountain Expansion, massive political protest appears the only strategy left for opponents.

The gathering of eco-activists at the Vancouver Art Gallery attracted about 1,200 people, according to Thomas Davies, spokesperson for Climate Convergence Metro Vancouver, a network of indigenous groups and climate change activists. The group had expected between 3,000 and 5,000 based upon Facebook registrations.