Close to 5,000 people have signed up to attend a mass action in Victoria, B.C. today intended to stop the proposed Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan pipelines, and the increased oil tanker traffic that would come with them.
Organizers are billing Defend Our Coast as the largest act of peaceful civil disobedience of its kind in Canadian history. Hundreds of people are expected to engage in acts of civil disobedience on the grounds of the provincial legislature.
The Victoria event is the first of two large organized actions set for this week. The second, on Wednesday, will unfold at legislative offices across the province as close to 2,000 people in at least 62 communities will link arms in a symbolic wall of resistance against pipelines and tankers.
The actions underscore how hungry British Columbians are for leadership on clean energy and efficiency. The heavy expected turnout aligns with polling conducted this past July by Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada. In the polling, only 33 percent of Canadians (32% of British Columbians) ranked “exporting more oil and gas” as a “top” or “high” priority for a Canadian energy strategy.
In contrast, 77 percent of British Columbians placed a top or high priority on “reducing Canada’s carbon pollution to slow down climate change.” Some 92 percent called more jobs in clean energy a top or high priority, while 79 percent declared “reducing our reliance on fossil fuels” a top or high priority in the research.
If it wasn’t obvious for our elected leaders before today, it should be now: The time for bold leadership on clean energy and the transition to a low carbon future is now.