Snakes in the Grass First Action!

2008 August 22, by Chapter Council

PNWER Protest, July 20-21, 2008

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SIG just completed its first action, a protest against the trade and security “public private partnership” (P3) called the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) Summit in Vancouver, Sunday July 20 and Monday July 21. The purpose of this action was twofold: to educate the public about the real agenda of this P3 and its participants and its undermining and bypassing democracy; and to confront the summit attendees and make it known to them that SIG will do everything it can to place their nefarious activities in the public spotlight.

For a video of the interviews, songs and talks before the noisy part of our protest, click here.

Our SIG action in Vancouver on Sunday July 20 and Monday July 21 went well. We leafleted all over the place, including the 9 a.m. Sunday ferry to Tsawwassen, street corners, at the protest, on the Bayshore sea walk, and so on (all while wearing our SIG outfits, which consisted of black outfits under safety vests with our logo and web site on the backs and green pith helmets covered with rubber snakes). We sang our songs in many different places. We demonstrated LOUDLY with other groups (Sunday evening) outside the hotel where the PNWER Summit was taking place (a small crowd with a strong voice and lots of noise making). We sang our songs outside the hotel the next morning. After a day of leafleting and singing around the city, including at the art gallery, we took the 3 pm Monday ferry back to Swartz Bay. We attracted lots of attention, including radio, TV, and print media, filming, recording and interviewing!

The several RCMP officers at the hotel protest showed great restraint, even when the younger activists pummeled the back iron fence with pots (and they did damage it, according to the hotel managers). One of the younger protesters was detained, but only for a while (during the height of the protest, of course…), and rumour had it that he was already well known to the RCMP. Nobody stopped us from doing our thing until, on the ferry going back, one of the crew said we could not distribute our handbills because we did not obtain prior permission from BC Ferries. So we just walked around all of the decks wearing our outfits advertising our web site. If anyone was curious who we were, we could just tell them verbally what we were up to and refer them to the web site.

All in all, it was a very successful maiden voyage of Snakes in the Grass!

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