Update - just in from Mark in Toronto (with pictures):
We had a great protest this morning in Toronto at the Royal Bank headquarters. Fifteen activists greeted RBC employees on their way to work for an hour and a half. We had a banner that read “RBC creates climate chaos. Renewables not tar sands.” As well as a half dozen placards with the bank’s logo and messages like “Create climate change-one bank account at a time.” and “RBC creates poisoned water in your community”
This morning was exciting, fun and very cold here in Vancouver.
While Brant, Melina and Lionel were inside speaking with shareholders and bank executives Margaret Swink and myself along with over a dozen dedicated & concerned local BC residents came to show their support and solidarity in the early hours of cool Thursday morning.
The morning started off with an air of excitement as our wonderful group took to the streets and sidewalks outside of the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Center to bring the messages being brought forward inside to the outside. We greeted eager shareholders and passerby’s with informational brochures detailing RBC’s dirty deeds in the Tar Sands which contribute to the adverse effects presented by both Lionel and Melina inside.
We were blessed to have RBC’s new mascot “Arbie”(on the far right in photo ) join us, although he seemed to be a little down on his luck and tarnished with what appeared to be his dirty investments. He seemed a little lost and followed us around, assumingly mistaking us for RBC shareholders and executives. If I was to take a guess I might assume that he was a little bit drunk, perhaps on the dirty oil that RBC is financing.
The group of us (Arbie in tow) marched around the convention center chanting “Finance the Future, Not Fossil Fuels”, “RBC out of the Tar Sands!!” and “Climate Friendly Bankers Don’t Fund Tankers!” and through the main lobby of the building using our loudest voices so the shareholders and executives alike could hear our beautiful voices and words. Not surprising, we found ourselves being politely asked to leave the premises at which point we agreebly took back to the streets where we were met with questions, media and on-lookers. We stayed the course until our fingers and toes were cold and sore and we took shelter in a nearby coffee shop anxiously awaiting word on how things went inside.
It was fantastic to see that media from the Vancouver Sun and APTN came out and took both photos and video coverage of the events outside to help us commenorate this grande occassion.
Thanks so much to all of those that came out and endured the cold weather and helped us tell RBC – GET OUT OF THE TAR SANDS!!!!