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VIDEO: Barlow on civil disobedience and ‘post-it’ action in Comox Valley, Sept. 23-24

On Friday September 23, more than 600 people filled the gymnasium at the Isfeld Secondary School in Courtenay, British Columbia to hear Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow and lawyer/ author Leo McGrady speak on peaceful direct action in Canada. Barlow was invited to the public forum by the Peaceful Direct Action Coalition (which has as a founding member the Council of Canadians Comox Valley chapter).

In her speech, Barlow spoke against the Schedule 2 provision that allows for mine tailings to be dumped into freshwater lakes across Canada; about the Keystone XL pipeline that if approved would expand the destruction of the tar sands and threaten the Ogallala aquifer; the (then upcoming) civil disobedience action on Parliament Hill against the impact of tar sands on First Nations peoples, water and the climate; the human right to water and sanitation; the Canada-European Union free trade agreement set to be signed in just a few months time; and BC premier Christy Clark’s ‘plan’ to diminish environmental regulations to speed up the approval of eight new mines and the expansion of nine existing mines in the province.

An article in the Comox Valley Record noted, “Building on Friday’s (Sept. 23) successful town hall meeting, the coalition “presented a workshop on civil disobedience at the Native Sons Hall in Courtenay on Saturday (which was attended by) about 150 Comox Valley residents… As part of the hands-on credo of the coalition, participants organized a colourful parade to the offices of MLA Don McRae (the provincial Liberal minister of agriculture) and MP John Duncan (the federal Conservative minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development). Accompanied by songs, drums and chants, participants put up hundreds of multi-coloured post-it notes on their windows, each bearing a message. Many had to do with the proposed Raven coal mine, but dozens of other concerns were expressed, ranging from unlimited growth to Stephen Harper’s foreign policy.”

To watch a 15-minute video of the public forum, the march and the post-it action, please go to