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UPDATE: Support the occupation of Kitsilano station against Harper’s planned closure of the base

The group settling in last night at the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station, photo by Jim Sinclair.

The group settling in last night at the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station, photo by Jim Sinclair.

The Vancouver Sun reports, “About a dozen protesters, including B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair, took over the lounge area of the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station late Friday to protest the federal government’s planned closure of the base. ‘We’re talking about the lives of people who live, work and play on the water,’ said Sinclair shortly after the group arrived by boat and entered the building from the wharf. ‘This (the closure) is an extremely serious situation. We’ve taken over the lounge and we’ll be here for 24 hours.’ The protesters began the sit-in at 5 p.m. Friday after they said the government ignored a report saying lives would be lost if the station is closed as planned.”

The article adds, “A confidential report obtained by The Vancouver Sun last week warns of the risks of closing the Kitsilano coast guard base. The report, by Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, which is run by the Canadian Coast Guard and Department of National Defence, said there are two high-risk possibilities that could stem from the Kits base closure, which is planned for next spring: longer response times from the Sea Island base (17 nautical miles and 35 minutes away); and potential overuse of the replacement inshore rescue boat (IRB), an open zodiac-style vessel that will be used after the Kits base is closed.”

At 4:30 pm PT (7:30 pm ET) today, people in the Kitsilano area are encouraged to join the group to tell the federal government that closing Kits Station is a short-sighted, dangerous decision that must be reconsidered. For those across the country who want to send a message that will be read to those inside the station, go to http://form.jotformpro.com/form/22575647795975. The Council of Canadians sent a message of solidarity to the group earlier today.