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Climate change activists disrupt Stephen Harper event


Jimayo

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Two climate change activists managed to sneak up behind Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday just as he was getting ready to start a question and answer session at the Vancouver Board of Trade.

Sean Devlin and Shireen Soofi succeeded in getting past the prime minister's security detail and onto the stage where Harper was sitting to protest his government's climate change policies.

Devlin stood behind Harper holding a sign that read "Climate Justice Now."

Soofi held up a sign saying "The Conservatives Take Climate Change Seriously," with the sentence crossed out.

She was standing between the prime minister and Iain Black, the president of the board of trade, who was introducing Harper when the activists took the stage.

Both men kept their cool as the pair were escorted off the stage by security.

"I'd like to take a minute and have some folks removed from the stage," Black said while the prime minister reached for a sip of water.

"It wouldn't be B.C. without it," Harper joked.

The crowd of business leaders applauded Harper as security removed the activists from the room.

Former prime minister Kim Campbell was also in attendance, along with Industry Minister James Moore and a handful of Conservative MPs from the region.

Anti-Harper protester behind disruption

The two activists had the help of Brigette DePape, who immediately issued a press release following the security breach bragging about the pair's exploits.

DePape was fired as a Senate page in 2011 after walking onto the Senate floor carrying a "Stop Harper!" sign during the speech from the throne to protest against Harper's policies.

"This morning two people directly intervened in a high-security question and answer session with Prime Minister Stephen Harper," the release said.

"The group managed to make their way past police undetected and into the secured Vancouver Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel."

Reached by telephone following the disruption, DePape said she was proud of the protest.

DePape told CBC News "it was very empowering" for the activists to get that close to the prime minister.

No comment from PMO

Despite the security breach, the Prime Minister's Office refused to comment publicly.

Jason MacDonald, a spokesman for the prime minister, told CBC News in an email, "we don't comment on security-related matters."​

Following the event, the president of the board of trade Vancouver Board of Trade was asked by reporters how the protesters got on stage.

"I would defer that to the Prime Minister's Office," Black said.

The head of the board said that when high-profile guests are invited to speak, security is handled by a number of agencies, from the Vancouver police to the RCMP.

Both protesters were initially detained by Vancouver police, but were later released.​

Vancouver police told CBC News that no charges have been laid against the protesters, but that could change.

"We will be working with the protection detail of the RCMP at the event to determine if charges are going to be laid," the police said.

The RCMP said it was reviewing the incident and would take "appropriate action," but referred questions on charges to Vancouver police.

Harper 'shrugged it off'

Black said he wasn't shaken by the event and that he took his cue from the prime minister.

"I didn't really get rattled by it. First of all, it happened very quickly. We all saw how quickly it was handled. I took the lead from the prime minister's response, to be honest."

"He didn't seem rattled. He's got full confidence in the team around him and that showed. He kind of shrugged it off, and there was no reason for me to do anything else," Black said.

Richard Zussman, who was at the event reporting for CBC News, said in a post on Twitter that the activists "looked to be dressed as wait staff."

DePape, in her press release, hinted that other events may be disrupted.

"These actions are taking place as part of a global movement of groups of who are directly confronting the fossil fuel industry, from First Nations legal challenges and blockading projects on their territories, to other forms of non-violent direct action."

Harper did not take any questions from the media.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/climate-change-activists-disrupt-stephen-harper-event-1.2485534

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A lot of you pinko commies have Harper all wrong. He's good for business. He's good for the rich. He takes care of them, they take care of him. And then there is the trickle-down effect, and the rest of us are much happier and freer. Just remember if not for stalwarts like Harper we'd all be speaking Soviet or some other communist language.

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http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/archives/sunnews/politics/2014/01/20140107-164437.html

Sun "News" actually got a hold of one of the protesters, her answers just show how clueless they really are.

When DePape answered the phone, she initially said she was too busy to talk - in spite of issuing a press release about the protest with her phone number, presumably so she can provide interviews.

Prior to hanging up though, DePape indicated that she had taken "creative action to protest Harper's inaction on climate change."

"We believe in a different way," she said, though was not entirely clear what she would do differently.

When Agar pressed, DePape said they "believe in a transition to a green and just economy where there are good green jobs for people."

She went on to express her opposition to the Enbridge pipeline, which she claims contributes to climate change and expansion of the "tar sands".

DePape did not however explain how the green jobs would be created, what they would be, or what economic impact it would have.

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Harper came to Vancouver Island yesterday first time a PM has visited in 60 years. I noticed there were about 10 or so protestors outside Brentwood school where his speech was held. Many of them didn't look like your typical protestor though seemed like professional people... Also I have seen previous Sun News specials on interviewing protestors and how they apparently don't know their own agenda, but one flaw I have noticed is most of the time they interview people who are just at protests for the food or social experience not the real organizers themselves. The same could be said when you read the bottom ticker of Sun News and see studies with no apparent citation attached to them. Lets not forget Sun New is basically Fox News North...

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Harper came to Vancouver Island yesterday first time a PM has visited in 60 years. I noticed there were about 10 or so protestors outside Brentwood school where his speech was held. Many of them didn't look like your typical protestor though seemed like professional people... Also I have seen previous Sun News specials on interviewing protestors and how they apparently don't know their own agenda, but one flaw I have noticed is most of the time they interview people who are just at protests for the food or social experience not the real organizers themselves. The same could be said when you read the bottom ticker of Sun News and see studies with no apparent citation attached to them. Lets not forget Sun New is basically Fox News North...

which is why I put news in quotations. Still doesn't change the fact that a lot of protestors don't really have a clue what they are protesting about. This one chose to make it on stage and make herself known, you would at least think she would have some answers since she made herself a target.

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which is why I put news in quotations. Still doesn't change the fact that a lot of protestors don't really have a clue what they are protesting about. This one chose to make it on stage and make herself known, you would at least think she would have some answers since she made herself a target.

except the one who issued the press release and answered the phone wasnt one of the 2 that got on stage

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A lot of you pinko commies have Harper all wrong. He's good for business. He's good for the rich. He takes care of them, they take care of him. And then there is the trickle-down effect, and the rest of us are much happier and freer. Just remember if not for stalwarts like Harper we'd all be speaking Soviet or some other communist language.

WTF are you smokin bro ? Our rights and freedoms are being pulled right out from under us and conservative sheep like you gobble it up blindly believing that we are better off with this treasonous sack of feces at the helm. You and people who think like you are the MAJOR reason this nation is spiraling into the toilet ! You are nothing more than a lap dog for believing in any of Harper's polluted agenda.

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WTF are you smokin bro ? Our rights and freedoms are being pulled right out from under us and conservative sheep like you gobble it up blindly believing that we are better off with this treasonous sack of feces at the helm. You and people who think like you are the MAJOR reason this nation is spiraling into the toilet ! You are nothing more than a lap dog for believing in any of Harper's polluted agenda.

Sarcasm.

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