A group of demonstrators calling for the B.C. government to take urgent action on the climate emergency plans to embark on a four-day journey on foot and by ferry starting Friday in Vancouver.
Extinction Rebellion will commence its four-day protest Friday (April 16) in Downtown Vancouver at the Olympic Cauldron in Jack Poole Plaza at 9 a.m.
Titled the “Walk for Mother Earth,” the protesters will head south from the Burrard Landing down the Granville Street Bridge and head to Richmond. On the second day, they'll likely be "blocking one side of traffic" in the George Massey Tunnel, Maayan Kreitzman, a volunteer coordinator, told Vancouver Is Awesome.
After this, the group will head south to Tsawwassen where they will catch the ferry to Swartz Bay on the third day. The group is expected to follow a trail on Vancouver Island down to Saanichton, but Kreitzman adds that they "may also walk on public roads including Patricia Bay [Highway]."
On the final day of the voyage, Monday, April 19, the demonstrators will make their way to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in Victoria. Here, they plan to nail their proposed “Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill” to the legislature doors.
“Government after government is still operating as if there’s no future to consider,” said Quetzo Herejk, a clinical counsellor participating in the walk.
“The message of my footsteps is for Horgan and Trudeau to know that many of us are paying attention to the continued erosion of Indigenous rights, our democracies, and their derision for the web of life that actually sustains us! From a psychological point of view, they are gas-lighting the masses, denying the truths about our fate, being two-faced...all of this is shockingly bad behaviour, not to mention delusional. In the face of such a failing system, I'm just one person standing up to say 'This will be the death of us, you have the power to do better right now, please do!'”
"This journey does constitute travel for essential purposes."
Kreitzman said protesters going to Vancouver Island are responsible for their accommodation and transportation back to Vancouver; she says there will not be a communal camp-out each night. "Most people are likely joining for one or a few days and will still be able to go home."
The group expects "perhaps 50-80 people for the initial stretch," but Kreitzman says "It's hard to predict exactly how many will show up each day."
The walk will take place on public roads and will be disruptive. Protesters must wear masks and physically distance while walking.
When asked if the group is concerned about the current travel advisory against nonessential travel, Kreitzman said that "This journey does constitute travel for essential purposes.
"What would be more essential than the protection of our life-support systems? Our governments are exacerbating the climate and ecological emergency rather than addressing it as a true emergency, so we have to act now."
Day one: Friday, April 16 (11 km)
The day is expected to begin with an opening ceremony at the Olympic Cauldron at 9 a.m. that will include a land acknowledgement and welcoming speech.
- Walk up Granville Street and over the Granville Bridge
- Turn east on 15th Ave and take Wolfe to Oak St
- From Oak turn east on 33rd Ave to Cambie
- Turn east on 59th to Winona Park for a bathroom break
- ETA ~1 p.m. Marine Drive Station (Walkers can go further or bus home)
Day One: Friday, April 16 Part 2: (11 km)
- From Marine Station cross the Pedestrian Bridge
- East on River Road to Shell Road and the Shell Road Trail
- Arrival at Steveston Hwy. ETA ~4 p.m.
- Walkers leave Walk at Steveston Hwy and take the bus home
Day Two: Saturday, April 17 (19 km)
The day is expected to commence at 10 a.m.
- From Steveston Hwy and #5 Rd Walk Thru the Massey Tunnel.
- Turn west at River Road and turn South at Arthur Drive
- West on Ladner Trunk.
- South on Arthur Drive to 53 (Deltaport Crossing)
- West at 28
- South at 52
- Walk thru Mall Parking lot to Salish Drive and cross the highway
- Walk on Orca Way to Spit
- Follow spit beach to Ferry Terminal ETA ~3 p.m.
- (Alternate faster router here: Hwy 17)
Day Three: Sunday, April 18 (10 km)
The day is expected to commence at 11 a.m.
- Ferry arrives at approximately 12:35
- Follow Lochdale trail south to exit 17 to Saanichton ETA ~4 p.m.
- Walkers need to find a place to sleep in Saanichton.
- Group may also walk on public roads including Patricia Bay Hwy.
Day Four: Monday, April 19 (25 km)
The day is expected to begin at 9 a.m.
- Follow Lochdale Trail to Galloping Goose Trail
- Cross Johnston Street Bridge
- Keep right to Legislature
- We may also walk on public roads including Patricia Bay Hwy.
- Walk expected to end at 3 p.m.
Spring campaign in May
In a press release, Extinction Rebellion adds that the protest comes on the heels of three years of the Horgan government's inaction on the climate emergency. They cite the approval and construction of the Site C dam "despite environmental and geotechnical problems," failure to oppose the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline, failure to enact endangered species legislation for the province, increased subsidies for fracked gas, as well as a "failure to implement the old growth strategic review panel’s recommendations as some of the most significant issues.
The group is also planning a week of disruptive action starting May 1st in Vancouver, where they plan to block streets and bridges. A coalition of XR Vancouver members, activists, allies, and concerned citizens will occupy the space for as long as possible, and plan to camp on the streets of downtown for the duration of the five-day spring campaign.