Anti-fracking group threatens direct action against Vancouver's highways and tourist spots unless demands met

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      A little-known climate-action group has demanded that Vancouver city council must prohibit fracked natural gas from being used to heat any residential buildings in the city by 2025.

      A failure by city council to announce a "binding resolution" committing Vancouver to such a path by this Monday (August 8) will lead to a series of civil-disobedience actions, the group Stop Fracking Around (SFA) announced in an August 4 release.

      "If the City does not commit to ensure that ‘no home will be heated by fracked gas by 2025’ by the 8th of August, then supporters of Stop Fracking Around will begin a campaign of serious disruption of critical infrastructure on the 9th of August and lasting until such a time as the City commits to all measures necessary to end use of fracked gas in Vancouver residences," the group said in its bulletin.

      SFA said in the notice that it is a member of the A22 Network, which it calls an "international climate resistance campaign network".

      On its Instagram site, A22 Network has the following posted: "We are the Last Generation. We will do whatever it takes. To protect our generation and all future generations. As is our inalienable right."

      SFA's three demands include, besides the ultimatum regarding heating gas for residences, an insistence that Canada ratify a proposed international fossil-fuel nonproliferation treaty and that B.C. and the other provinces and territories form citizens' assemblies that would possess "legally-binding power to deliberate and decide on our transition out of fossil fuels."

      Several groups have blocked roads, often busy arterials, in and around Vancouver during the past few years over various issues. 

      Groups sympathetic with the aims of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation in its fight against a pipeline passing through its traditional territories in B.C.'s Interior have blocked busy main roads in the city, with members being arrested.

      Extinction Rebellion Vancouver, another nonviolent climate-action group, started a series of similar civil-disobedience actions almost three years ago by blockading the Burrard Street Bridge, again with members undergoing arrest.

      And the conservation group Save Old Growth has been busy blockading roads, dumping manure in front of politicians' offices, and, lately, targeting Vancouver tourist sites in an attempt to pressure the provincial government to commit to meaningful action to halt the logging of old growth. It claims to have had more than 100 members arrested during such actions since January this year.

      "The Stop Fracking Around campaign is committed to escalating civil disobedience tactics to achieve environmental and labor-friendly goals," SFA said in its release. "The targets of civil disobedience could involve the Vancouver tourism industry, provincial and federal highways, and oil and gas facilities. Other forms of civil disobedience may include organizing city-wide gas bill strikes."

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