[Vision2020] Oct. 17, 2019 "Edmonton police and counter-protesters mobilize as Greta Thunberg gets set to rally at legislature"
starbliss at gmail.com
Thu Oct 17 22:15:06 PDT 2019
Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
EDMONTON—Many across Alberta will be gassing up their trucks, lacing their
boots, and donning environmentalist emblems as climate change activist
Greta Thunberg gets set to lead a rally at the province’s legislature
The 16-year-old Swedish activist’s noon-hour rally in Edmonton on Friday
will see many supporters holding climate change activism signs, and some
critics in their trucks, congregate in the province’s capital for an event
that has put Alberta’s oil and gas industry on the international radar.
Also attending is United We Roll, an Alberta-based truck convoy that drew
national notoriety earlier this year when hundreds of its supporters jumped
in dozens of trucks and took a trip from Red Deer, Alta., to Ottawa
protesting carbon taxes and a lack of pipeline construction.
The group will be rolling into Edmonton to protest the globe-trotting
“We in the province of Alberta are tired of celebrities coming into our
province and trying to tell us how to run our oil and gas sector,” a post
to the group’s Facebook page stated on Wednesday.
“I am asking everyone connected to the oil and gas industry to come out in
UNITY to show Greta we do not need her yelling at us.”
The group’s members plan to start the drive from Red Deer to Edmonton on
>From celebrity condemnation to activist ire, the oilsands in northern
Alberta, considered the economic backbone of the province’s economy, have
faced considerable criticism — and some are concerned Thunberg could bring
another heap of judgment.
At the rally, Thunberg will stand alongside members of Alberta
environmentalist organizations outside the province’s legislature, which is
home to a new United Conservative government that has said it will
obsessively focus on the economy, jobs, and the energy sector.
A big turnout is expected, with both opponents and supporters of Thunberg’s
publicly stating they’d come from other parts of the province to join in
In a statement Thursday, Edmonton police say they are gearing up in the
same way they always do for large demonstrations.
“Specialized resources have been assigned from various units within the
(Edmonton Police Service), including (the) public safety unit, as the EPS
works to maintain peace and ensure the safety of citizens,” the statement
said. “The public can expect a police presence where the rally and protests
are scheduled, including any required traffic diversions.
Members of Edmonton Youth for Climate, Indigenous Climate Action, Climate
Justice Edmonton and Beaver Hill Warriors are set to speak at the rally as
Notably absent from the event will be anyone from the Alberta government.
The United Conservatives have asked Thunberg to meet with Albertans and
Indigenous groups to learn about the safe and environmentally friendly way
the province’s energy resources are produced in Canada compared to
countries like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela — which government officials
regularly slam as dictatorships with bad environmental and human rights
However, they haven’t committed to trying to meet with Thunberg, and it
isn’t the first time UCP government officials have avoided climate change
rallies. No one from the government showed up in late September when
thousands of Albertans concerned about climate change rallied at the steps
of the legislature demanding action.
Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley extended her welcome to Thunberg on
Thursday and asked to meet with her, but is unable to attend Friday’s rally.
Extinction Rebellion Canada, an environmental activist group that will also
have members at the rally, posted about the counter-protest planned by the
convoy on Facebook and asked for calm.
“Of course United We Roll is planning a counter-demonstration,” the
statement said. “They will try to rile things up. Don’t let them. Peaceful
is what we are. Be a wall of peace.”
The Calgary Climate Hub, a non-profit organization, said on Twitter that it
would be chartering a bus to head up to Edmonton on Friday.
Thunberg has received invites from across the province — both Edmonton
Mayor Don Iveson and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi have extended welcomes to
the Swede and said they’d like to meet with her.
Chief Lee Crowchild of the Tsuut’ina Nation also extended a warm welcome
and invitation to visit the nation near Calgary.
Thunberg hasn’t released an official schedule for who she’ll meet.
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