Protester Santas invade Vancouver port office 0
Climate change protesters were ejected from Port Metro Vancouver’s office after they barged in to deliver bags of coal to port executives. (MURRAY BUSH, FLUX PHOTO)
Allegations of assault are flying after six climate-change protesters dressed as Santa stormed Port Metro Vancouver downtown office Monday to deliver coal to port executives.
The port denounced the protest in a statement, alleging the protesters assaulted employees and damaged property.
Anti-climate change group Rising Tide Vancouver took responsibility for the protest. Spokeswoman Chandra Tung said it was meant to draw attention to the “flawed” process of the environmental impact assessment for a coal terminal proposed at the Fraser Surrey Docks.
She called the accusations of assault “absolutely, completely untrue” and said Rising Tide will release footage showing port employees assaulting protestors.
Peter Xotta, Port Metro’s vice president of planning and operations, said the protesters gained illegal access to the office and several employees were assaulted trying to remove them.
“We know that folks have lots of opinions about some of the projects that the port is involved in and we certainly endeavour to engage in respectful conversation about that,” Xotta said. “This is not acceptable and we’re not going to tolerate it.”
Chandra said the protests would continue and warned if the terminal is built, Rising Tide and its supporters will “take to the streets to stop it.”
Police are investigating the incident.