Protest against fossil fuel use planned Oct. 29 in Newmarket, urges RBC to ‘stop funding climate destruction’
Oct. 28, 2021
A Newmarket demonstration that's part of a worldwide protest targeting fossil fuel use is planned for Friday, Oct. 29 in front of a Royal Bank of Canada branch, urging the biggest bank in Canada to “stop funding climate destruction and the violation of Indigenous rights.”
The protest’s flyer reads that RBC is the “biggest funder of fossil fuels in Canada and the fifth biggest funder of fossil fuels in the world.”
It also described how since the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement was signed, RBC has funneled more than $200 billion into fossil fuel businesses or projects.
Art Lightstone, one of the organizers behind the action plan, described how this protest is part of a worldwide theme.
“It's not just across Canada, it's actually happening all over the world. I know London (U.K.) for example is having a very similar demonstration,” Lightstone said.
Lightstone was one of the planners behind the Sept. 8 demonstration that drew 100 people, coinciding on the day of the federal French-language leaders’ debate that day.
While the idea of the first protest was to send a political message to all parties across Canada, this demonstration uses “more clever and strategic attack vectors” to tackle the issue.
“The idea behind this particular approach is if you can cut off the funding to finance, in particular, oil development projects, then it will make oil development and distribution all more difficult, less profitable, more expensive, and generally less appealing for businesses to pursue and less appealing for consumers to buy,” he said.
Lightstone described the existence of alternatives, being carpooling, electric cars, or public transportation with businesses tweaking their operations to be more environmentally friendly.
In a previous interview, Lightstone described how investing in green renewable energy would create a mega economic boom.
The past protest and the planned one are showing how "regular citizens are asking the large, powerful entities that have control over their money to stop using that money to fund oil, and to redirect that capital toward renewable energy projects that can provide the energy required for people to significantly curtail their use of fossil fuels," said Lightstone.
"At the end of the day, people conflate oil and gas with energy, so they think that they absolutely need oil and gas but they don't," he added. "Energy can come from a great variety of sources as long as government and industry choose to direct the capital that they control towards developing those sources."
Some 23 other Canadian cities are partaking in this protest too. They include Toronto, Mississauga, Guelph, Kitchener, Peterborough, Kingston, and Ottawa.
Location: Outside the RBC branch at 16591 Yonge St., NewmarketTIME: Demonstration starts at 4:30 p.m., and goes until 6 p.m.