Energy & Environment

VIDEO: Vancouver activists beat an effigy of Stephen Harper riding an oil tanker

“It’s time to stop being polite” say activists angry over this month’s fuel spill and the sluggish response to it
Erin Seatter

Protesters took to the busy intersection of Davie and Denman near English Bay in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories last Saturday to participate in a ritual effigy beating. “It’s time to stop being polite” was the message of many who used sticks to beat a papier-mâché bobblehead of Prime Minister Stephen Harper atop an oil tanker.

Rather than subsiding, anger at the federal government over a sluggish response to the fuel spill in Vancouver’s English Bay almost three weeks ago seems to be steadily building.

Long popular in places under a dictatorship, the act of burning despised leaders in effigy is rare in Canada. According to protesters it is an expression of how much anger lingers over federal cuts, which many blame for the slow response.

Saturday’s demonstration was the second in a week to target members of the federal government. Eight days earlier a press conference held by Industry Minister James Moore and Conservative MP Andrew Saxton was disrupted by activists decked out in hazmat suits.

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