After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

"Fossil Fools Day" celebrated by costumed activists from VCC to RBC

See video

As the Sky Train pulls up to the VCC-Clark Station a small cluster of activists in life jackets filter out of the train and onto the platform.

Gathering into a small circle, the group put snorkels over their faces and towels over their shoulders. One young man took off his jacket to reveal tight spandex shorts and an extra-small tank top, and, just as the group burst into laughter, he added a swimming cap and nose plug to his attire.

“Are you ready?” said a large cardboard sign as the group began displaying their cause, while people on the platform laughed and asked what was going on.

“Today is Fossil Fools Day,” said a female member of the group.

“What?” asked a dark haired woman.

“We are here to protest RBC’s support in the Tar Sands Development in Alberta,” said the girl. “We need to stop climate change. Show them who the real fossil fools are.”

RBC is the main financial supporter in the Tar Sand Development in Alberta, Canada’s largest source of oil, and, according to this group, “the single most environmentally destructive project on earth.”

The SkyTrain arrived at the station, and everyone got on board. Someone turned on a boom box, and the dancing began. Travelling the full length of the Millennium Line, the group handed out information to giggling passengers and talked about their concerns with global climate change.

At each station, the group  exited the train and ran to another section of the train. People laughed and pointed as they watched the spandex-wearing man jump from train to train, followed by a group of girls in lifejackets chanting and cheering. While many passengers shied away from them, the protesters wished everyone a “Happy Fools Day.”

The group danced their way to Burrard Station, where they exited the train and began their march to the Royal Canadian Bank. Strutting through the streets in their swimming attire, the group stopped to flash signs at moving cars, and to explain their cause to passersby.

After finally arriving at the bank, the group spread out a large orange banner that read “Unite for Climate Action,” as the leader of the group grabbed her megaphone and explained "RBC’s effect in Climate Change.”

After making speeches, and presenting RBC with the “Fossil Fool” award, the group cranked up the music and dancing resumed.

In front the RBC building, protesters pretended to swim through the air, as security guards and RBC officials stood nearby, warning them to stay away from the front steps of the building.

When the music finished, the activists gathered one last time to thank everyone for coming out. Then they melted back  into crowds of people on the streets of Downtown Vancouver.


Audio slide show at top by Kimberly Ytsma

More in News

Views from a refugee camp: Who gets into heaven?

I have just returned to Vancouver Island from Greek refugee camps where I met a Yazidi man named Jason who told me about his escape from ISIS in Iraq.   His story begins on a desert road where a...

Vancouver's bicycle sharing grows as 15 new stations installed

Mobi bicycle by Shaw Go in Vancouver. Photo by Christopher Porter from Flickr Creative Commons

International Women's Day Concert celebrates female musicians who turned tragedy into triumph

Every March 8, on International Women's Day, we hear about the achievements of brilliant, talented women around the world. But how often do we learn about the physical and mental disabilities or...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.