A protester climbed up a ladder and poured molasses over the Gastown Steam Clock as part of an anti-fracking demonstration.
Stop Fracking Around, a new civil disobedience group, launched its anti-fracking campaign in Vancouver on Wednesday (Aug. 10) morning just after 10 a.m., pouring molasses over the tourist attraction at the corner of Cambie and Water streets.
The group says the thick syrup represents "fracked oil" and the demonstration will "possibly involve arrests" for its "non-violent civil disobedience."
Activist Brent Eichler, formerly of Extinction Rebellion's Vancouver chapter and the Save Old Growth campaigns, spoke to Vancouver Is Awesome from the scene of the protest.
"We want the people who are flying here from all over the world to see the demonstration," he said.
Around 11 a.m., Eichler said roughly 20 Vancouver Police officers were at the scene and the demonstrator who climbed the ladder would "likely be arrested for refusing to come down."
While some of the protesters are Extinction Rebellion members or were part of the Save Old Growth campaign, Eichler underscored that this is a "brand new group" that is specifically trying to get the Canadian government to end fracking, including the "immediate cancellation" of the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline.
"It's just not something that can be done anymore," he emphasized.
Stop Fracking Around is planning another rally on Aug. 15 at 9 a.m. at city hall, where they will be joined by members of the Wet'suwet'en first nation for a larger demonstration that will likely involve blocking intersections and bridges.
"That's what we need to do at this time," Eichler said, noting that many of the group members have already been arrested multiple times and some of them, including himself, are on probation; other members are currently serving jail time.
In video footage shared with V.I.A., one of the demonstrators shouts into a megaphone: "They've destroyed the water table. There's now radiation in the water table. You can't use the top of the land because there is no water."
David Suzuki told V.I.A. in a previous interview that he understands why groups such as Extinction Rebellion engage in civil disobedience, adding that humanity is on a "suicidal path."
V.I.A. has reached out to the VPD and the city for comment.