Gavin MacRae photos
Comox Valley Students ‘Stand up, Fight Back’ for Climate Action
A jovial yet determined crowd of student strikers and adult supporters over 250 strong marched through downtown Courtenay Friday, to demand action on climate change.
The protest started with a rally at Courtenay City Hall.
The crowd cheered as speakers said it was time to “stand up and fight back” against fossil fuel interests and insufficient government action.
“We are here today under a unified cause to protest climate change,” said Nalan Goosen, a co-organizer of the event.
Speaking through a megaphone, Goosen said investments in the tar sands and other fossil fuel infrastructure make Canadian banks culpable for climate change.
To showcase this, the demonstration traced a serpentine route through the downtown to pause and protest at CIBC, Bank of Montreal, and Scotia Bank.
Outside CIBC the crowd chanted, “No more coal, no more oil, keep the carbon in the soil!”
At Bank of Montreal the rallying cry was, “What do we want? Climate Action! When do we want it? Now!”
Finally, the Scotia Bank received, “Corporate greed we must fight, polluting earth is not a right!”
The crowd also made a stop at the office of MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard, where she and MP Gord Johns spoke with the demonstrators.
Both politicians gave short impromptu speeches on the importance of protecting the environment.
Students put questions to Leonard and Johns about increasing climate education in the school system, protecting old-growth forest and marine areas and fighting the Trans Mountain pipeline.
The answers met with some applause, and Goosen said he was hopeful Leonard would bring the demonstrators’ concerns about old-growth logging to Doug Donaldson, BC’s Minister of Forests. Goosen was also hopeful Johns would echo the students’ concern over the climate crisis in Ottawa.
The protest ended with a return to City Hall.
Students said all but two schools in Comox and Courtenay were represented among the protesters.
“The turnout was amazing,” said Mackai Sharp, a co-organizer of the protest. “The last two events had under 35 people.”
Sharp and Goosen are leaders of the Comox Valley-based Youth Environmental Action, which planned the protest. The group has a separate arm for adults named Adult Allies for Youth Environmental Action.
”This will not be our last protest, said Goosen. “We don’t have very long to solve the climate crisis, so this movement of youth empowerment is essential to our health and survival.”
Gavin MacRae is the assistant editor of Watershed Sentinel, which is a publishing partner of Decafnation
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Some 30 rallies held Wednesday across Canada – outside CBC studios, offices and in the streets – aim to pressure the public broadcaster to host a debate between federal party leaders on the climate crisis ahead of the coming election
In Courtenay, Stewart Mcintosh has turned his yard into a low-carbon oasis. He harvests solar energy three ways, forming the linchpin of his low-carbon lifestyle
Canadian hemp has an ecological footprint of hemp is one-third to a half smaller that U.S. cotton, a factor that is fueling the plant’s comeback on world markets
Ninety-one-year-old Elke Bibby, with her walker in tow, thought it important enough to come in from Cumberland to join the Day of Action to Save BC Forests
A simple request to defray a homeowner’s expense for creek bank remediation has uncovered a litany of Town of Comox problems and turned into a BC Supreme Court case valued at nearly a quarter-million dollars
Comox Valley residents have just two more days to add their voice to Courtenay’s draft Urban Forest Strategy, which will guide how the city manages trees on private and public lands for the next 30 years
Photo courtesy of Ocean Wise By George Le Masurier o you want to learn about the threats facing whales in our waters and what local citizens can do to help to protect them? Comox Valley Nature has invited Sarah Patton to...
Wetlands are fast disappearing, but are crucial to biodiversity, flooding and mitigating climate change, say speakers at the Cumberland Wetlands Conference
Thinking about buying an electric car or bike? Several Comox Valley groups have organized an electric car and bike show at 10 am on Saturday, May 18, at the Comox Valley Sports Centre on Vanier Drive
A Friday night Comox Valley crowd of 100 listened intently as speakers from Sierra Club BC and the Wilderness Committee illustrated the grim reality of what remains of old growth forest on Vancouver Island