Enormous crowd at Defend Our Coast demonstration undeterred by "a little rain"

Up to 3,000 people gathered to protest outside the BC legislature on Oct 22. Photo by Carrie Saxifrage.

"A little rain isn't stopping this enormous crowd," @DefendOurCoast tweeted a few minutes ago.

Author Tzeporah Berman is one of the three thousand people  gathered in the rain right now at the Defend Our Coast demonstration outside the BC legislature. 

The crowd is in Victoria to protest the Enbridge Inc. proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

"It's time for citizens from all walks of life to take a stance," Berman told The Vancouver Observer by phone from the demonstration.

"The fact that thousands are willing to take the day off to voice their concerns should signal to the people around this country to take notice that it's too risky and too dangerous to build the pipeline."

Ben West, a Wilderness Committee campaigner, is also at the demonstration.

"I'm hoping folks far and wide can see this rally and that it emboldens them to get involved."

Elected officials show support

The provincial legislature is effectively shut down for the day, a government spokesperson said.

Elected officials at the protest include federal Green Party MP Elizabeth May, NDP MPs Rob Fleming and Kennedy Stewart, and BC MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, among others.
 
Premier Christy Clark's office did not respond to questions for comment about the protest, or whether Clark planned to make an appearence at the protest.
 
People should express views in a "civilized way": Terry Lake
A BC Environment Ministry spokesperson told The Vancouver Observer that the Environment Minister Terry Lake will not be attending the protests because he is spending the day working on Kamloops-North Thompson constituency business. He passed on the following statement from the Minister, expressing hope for a peaceful demonstration, and asking for people to express views in a "civilized way." 

“It should be no surprise to anyone that the people of British Columbia care deeply about the environment. The members of our government care every bit as much about protecting British Columbia’s environment as anyone who is involved in the protest."

“I hope that the demonstration will be peaceful. I think we have processes like the environmental assessment process ongoing at the moment that gives people the opportunity to express their views in a civilized way."

 

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