The countdown is on to #ShutDownCanada 2015. A call to launch nationwide protests on February 13 has been making the rounds in social media.
“It’s basically the work of organizers across the country, trying to draw attention to multiple causes,” Ambrose Williams told the Straight in a phone interview. For locals, the focal point will be Port Metro Vancouver, where oil and coal exports are shipped.
“What’s planned so far is a rally and a number of art installations around the city,” Williams said about the action outside the port.
According to Williams, a former president of Aboriginal Life in Vancouver Enhancement Society, the nationwide protests will not focus on a single issue. He explained that communities will decide what cause they will highlight, ranging from oil and gas development to pipelines, mining, and missing and murdered women.
In 2013, #ShutDownCanada protests were held in solidarity with Mi’kmaq people opposing planned drilling for gas in New Brunswick.
Williams recalled that the idea for a new #ShutDownCanada was born last summer, when he and other activists met at a camp set up by the Unis’tot’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in the path of a planned gas pipeline in northern B.C.