Yesterday, local activists disrupted Stephen Harper’s campaign stop in Montreal to remind him that you can’t avoid the issue of climate and tar sands expansion if you’re campaigning to be leader of this country.
Organizers from communities opposed to the Energy East and Line 9b pipelines, local residents, members of the CSN workers union and students from Divest McGill showed up at the event. In a packed room of supporters in the suburban riding of Pointe-Claire, one climate activist interrupted the Prime Minister’s speech, as several other organizers rallied outside the venue.
There has been similar actions calling out all party leaders on climate in these first three weeks of the elections campaign, all across Canada. Here’s highlights of yesterday that show the creativity, resolve and dedication of folks who pulled this off:
1. First sign of success: it was made into a GIF
Cherry on the pie for this action, a journalist who was there made this awesome GIF where you can see Harper get interrupted mid-sentence with the mighty power of a sign and sharpie.
Harper event in Quebec is interrupted by climate change protester. Watch how quickly he is removed by security pic.twitter.com/D2MSinv8gv
— Patrick Morrell (@PatMorrell_CBC) August 25, 2015
2. They got in the way of the livestream and let Twitter do the rest
You could see the disruption caught on all major networks cameras inside the event. Given how notoriously secretive Stephen Harper’s campaign events are, this was indeed “something you don’t see everyday,” as one journalist put it. Twitter took note.
3. Which earned them pretty good commentary
As the action was unfolding, Green Party leader made this cheeky reference in the Twittosphere:
4. Outside, there was some cross-movement solidarity
While Harper was going on about his party’s economic achievements inside, union members were outside to remind him that economic justice and tackling climate change go hand in hand. Members from the CSN, one of Quebec’s major union, joined in with local organizers opposing tar sands pipelines in their communities to highlight the need for a just energy transition and the fact that in this campaign no party leader has a plan that keeps tar sands in the ground.
5. And some creative fossil fuel divestment youth
Also cheering on outside, youth from Divest McGill showed some real determination, pouring molasses to creatively call out Harper on his abysmal decade on expanding the tar sands and calling on people to vote for political change, not climate change.
This action was the latest of a wave of powerful interventions on the campaign trail that have been putting climate change on the agenda. Folks from all parts of this movement are carrying it forward across the country and making sure that this election includes a vision of a Canada that works for people and the planet. All party leaders, take note. Get involved in organizing and download some resources here.