A small group of environmental activists interrupted Rex Murphy’s speech in Sidney Saturday night. (Black Press Media File).

Extinction Rebellion interrupts Rex Murphy in Sidney

Security staff removed five activists after they interrupted the start of Murphy’s speech

The Sidney appearance of national commentator Rex Murphy drew protests from local environmentalists, but also support.

Five members of Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island interrupted Rex Murphy at the start of his speech at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney. The quintet accused Murphy of being a mouthpiece for what they called “big oil and gas.”

By way of background, Extinction Rebellion is a British-based environmental movement, whose aims include stopping what scientists call the sixth mass extinction in planetary history, as caused by humans. The group and its various local chapters has a history of staging events that aim to draw publicity to its cause.

Murphy, a journalist who gained national prominence as a long-time radio host and commentator for the CBC, has in the past received payments from the Canadian energy sector and continues to question the science behind human-made climate change and efforts to fight it.

RELATED: Christian minister accused of homophobia set to speak in Sidney

RELATED: Christian minister accused of transphobia draws small audience, protesters in Sidney

Tsastiqualus Ambers Umbas, who describes herself as Matriarch of the Ma’amtagila Nation, said the group protested Murphy because Murphy “is spreading lies” around a number of issues, a point echoed by Howard Breen. “Rex Murphy routinely makes a repulsive mockery of both the science of the climate crisis and children’s survival.”

The group has specifically opposed plans to ship Alberta oil to foreign markets through British Columbia.

“BC takes all the risks for pipelines and fish farms. Alberta is land locked. They need us more then we need them.”

A video shared by the group shows Murphy appeared in the centre’s Bodine Family Hall. Estimates from Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island place the audience at 600 people, a figure that the Peninsula News Review could not independently confirm.

The video also shows that many of them booed when the group started its protest, which ended quickly when security personnel escorted the group out of the facility.

Umbas acknowledged support for Murphy and his message.

“There are people, who believe what he saying,” she said. “They are people, who think it is okay to build a pipeline. That has to end. You take a look at that crowd there and we are talking about pretty old people set in their ways. The reaction was very strong and very swift. You can see the anger in peoples’ eyes as we are being removed.”

Umbas said she was not sure when asked whether the protest changed any minds.

“I hope at least one person thought ‘what is this about’,” she said. “If we do an action like this, at least, it gives people food for thought.”


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Plans for pot shop in Sidney spark back to life

Changing provincial regulations could clear the way for Sidney’s first ever pot shop

Saanich police identify suspect in Brydon Park assault

No charges sworn, no arrest made as of July 9

Bacteria levels lead to swimming advisory at Saanich park

Craigflower-Kosapsum Park among regional beaches with swim advisories

West Shore RCMP arrests five suspects in multi-jurisdictional drug trafficking investigation

Cocaine, prohibited loaded handgun, weapons, stolen vehicles seized

New affordable homes on the way in Sooke

Eight new affordable rental homes to be built at Hope Centre

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read