Calling all residents, students, parents, elders, streamkeepers, treeplanters, guerilla gardeners, blockaders, rebels, climate defenders, farmers and freeway fighters!
As chainsaws roar and bulldozers get set to roll on the controversial $2 billion South Fraser Perimeter Road freeway (SFPR), join local residents and community groups to stand up for climate justice!
Last October, hundreds of people dug up the freeway construction site in Surrey with shovels and wheelbarrows, and in December we used sand from the SFPR to build a dike blocking the provincial cabinet offices. Now it’s time to step up the campaign of mass direct action against climate crime. We need to turn up the heat, in order to turn down the heat.
WHAT & WHEN: Mass Direct Action against Climate Crime, beginning at 2 pm on Friday April 22 (Mother Earth Day). Actions may continue over multiple days on this long weekend and beyond. Like our previous actions, it will be non-disruptive to area residents, even as we disrupt continuation of the South Fraser Perimeter Road freeway (SFPR). There will be a variety of ways people can get involved and demonstrate their support, including roles with little or no legal risk. All are welcome to participate.
WHERE: Meet at Annieville Supermarket, 10996 River Road, Delta. (Take the 640 bus from Scott Road Skytrain or Ladner Exchange)
Come to a pre-action Teach-in! Join us for presentations, action planning, skill sharing and legal info:
- DELTA: Saturday March 19, 1-4 pm, Ladner United Church, 4960 48 Ave
- VANCOUVER: Saturday March 26, 1-4 pm, Grandview Calvary Baptist Church, 1803 E. 1st Ave
- SURREY: Saturday April 9, 1-4 pm, Kwantlen University, Room D-128 (Fir Building), 12666 72 Ave
WHO: This is an initiative of climate justice activists from GatewaySucks.org, local Council of Canadians chapters, the Critical Criminology Working Group and others. We welcome your involvement in the planning process, especially at a teach-in before the action (see above). We seek endorsements and input from other organizations, and your help in mobilizing your friends, neighbours, community groups or affinity group to join us!
WHY: Now under legal challenge in federal court, the estimated $2 billion proposed SFPR freeway would greatly increase greenhouse gas emissions, pave invaluable farmland, scar the banks of the Fraser River, pollute elementary school playgrounds, and damage indigenous heritage sites. This freeway is an irresponsible waste of public money, and many similar projects have been stopped before. The SFPR has already been “downgraded” due to lack of funds, and dubbed a “white elephant” in the mainstream press. We will emphasize the need to shift resources from climate crimes like freeways to public transit, and to protect communities from flooding and other effects of global warming.
Let’s kick off a hot summer of resistance!
Photo: Red legged frog on the South Fraser Witness Trail
“Did you hear the one about why the red-legged frogs crossed the road? Well, probably not, because they never made it to the other side.”
— Globe and Mail article about the failed mitigation of the Sea to Sky Highway
The South Fraser Witness Trail was begun in 2009 by volunteers from Surrey Environmental Partners and the Wilderness Committee. It follows the route of the proposed South Fraser Perimeter Road through an urban forest in Surrey. Named as one of the city’s five major natural area hubs in a recent study, it is home to deer, beavers, herons, owls, salmon, and endangered species such as the Red legged frog and Pacific water shrew. (As of yet there are no “underpasses” planned for Surrey’s Red legged frogs)
Witness Trails are a time tested way of protecting natural areas from irresponsible development. Come on the hike to see the wildlife and old growth spruce trees. Find out what is at stake if the South Fraser Freeway gets built, and what we can do to stop it!
When: Friday November 5, 3:15 pm (not 3:00 pm as listed above)
Where: 168 St. & 108 Ave. in Surrey (meet at bus stop – map: http://bit.ly/aXEEZG)
(The C74 bus runs direct to this location from Surrey Central Skytrain. Just get on the bus at 2:47 pm at Bay 12 under the tracks, and ask the driver to let you off at 168 St & 108 Ave.)
The trail includes rugged sections. Bring drinking water, a snack, and water resistant footwear. The hike will proceed rain or shine and will only be canceled in case of high winds or dangerous conditions. For more information call 604 588 4203 (including day of hike) or email email@example.com
For detailed information, including a downloadable trail map and brochure, visit:
For background information visit:
On Sunday October 10th, about 250 people participated in a mass direct action against climate crime in Surrey, BC. Marching from Scott Road Skytrain to a South Fraser Perimeter Road construction site, we dug it up and filled sandbags to raise the dike protecting the low-lying community of Bridgeview from flooding. Using shovels and wheelbarrows we took a significant bite out of the huge pile of ‘pre-load’ sand next to Bridgeview Elementary School and raised a section of dike by about three feet using 350 sand bags. A lawyer was on standby in case of arrests, but the police did not intervene.
A massive thank you goes out to the many participants, volunteers, safety marshals, and the 21 groups who endorsed this action and helped make it such a huge success.
Check out the VMC video! http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/video/can-you-dig-it/4837
The action was also featured on CTV, Global, CKNW, News1130 and others. See all the coverage here: http://gatewaysucks.org/dig-in-media
It was exciting and inspiring to see so many familiar faces, and so many new ones at this event. Let’s keep the momentum rolling: tell your friends, this is just the beginning, we’ll see you at the next one!
Help plan the next action:
Action for Climate Justice: Building the Climate Justice Movement
A workshop to plan action and build the movement
When: 11 am – 2:30 pm, Saturday November 13
Where: Grandview Calvary Baptist Church, 1803 E. 1st Avenue (1 block east of Commercial Drive) (wheelchair accessible – from the north side)
Why: The next major round of UN climate negotiations will be held in Cancun November 29 to December 10. The last one in Copenhagen failed miserably. Why wait for governments to take action? It is the collective voice of people that can make climate justice a reality. Join us to plan and coordinate actions during the UN Climate Negotiations and beyond. For more info see: http://gatewaysucks.org/workshop
Last October thousands of people marched in Vancouver as part of the largest ever coordinated global rally – 5,200 demonstrations in 181 countries demanding action on global warming. This year, it is time to do more than march. Now is the time for mass direct action against climate crime. Now is the time to help communities deal with increased flood risk and other dangers caused by global warming.
When: Sunday October 10, 2010 at 2:00 pm
Where: Meet at Scott Road SkyTrain (East / Taxi Stand side) then march to 129th St. and 115b Ave in North Surrey – near Bridgeview Elementary School (Map: http://bit.ly/bQzSHl)
This year as part of the 350.org 10/10/10 Global Work Party (Oct 10, 2010), we will get to work stopping a deliberate climate crime –the South Fraser Perimeter ‘Road’ freeway which is part of the Gateway Program. The estimated $2 billion proposed freeway would greatly increase greenhouse gas emissions, pave over some of BC’s best farmland, scar the delicate banks of the Fraser River, and pollute elementary school playgrounds.
Freeways = Climate Crime
Presently, the South Fraser Freeway route is marked by piles of ‘preload’ sand. We will use this sand to start raising the flood control dikes around a Surrey neighbourhood to protect it from flooding caused by global warming.
We need people to fill sand bags and use them to raise the dike, and lots of people to help out in other ways and show their support. The risk of arrest is very low for anyone who does not wish risk arrest. Legal information will be available.
This action will emphasize the need to shift resources away from climate crimes to creating green jobs and climate justice. Every cent is needed for solutions like public transit and electric passenger trains, and to protect communities from flooding and other effects of global warming.
What can I do right now? Go to http://www.350.org/dig-climate-justice and sign up to receive more information, including volunteer orientation and work party times.
An information and volunteer meeting will be held Wed. Sept. 15, 7.30pm, Holy Trinity Church, 1440 West 12th Ave. (Activity room at the back on the main floor). More meetings will be announced.
The 10/10/10 Dig in for Climate Justice is a project of the Council of Canadians (Delta-Richmond, Vancouver-Burnaby, and Surrey-White Rock-Langley chapters), and GatewaySucks.org
Endorsed by: Bridgeview Community Action Group, Greenpeace, Livable Region Coalition, Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group (SFPIRG), Solidarity Notes Labour Choir, Streams of Justice, Sunbury Neighbourhood Association, Unitarian Church of Vancouver Environment Committee
Will your organization endorse this action, and help us make it a success? Please send endorsements to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 604 877 1223 or 604 340 2455 for more information.
The South Fraser Freeway is a white elephant, and we’re only starting to learn the true costs. Witness trails are a time tested way of protecting wilderness areas from dumb megaprojects, and a beautiful new witness trail has been built by volunteers with Surrey Environmental Partners and the Wilderness Committee. Join us for a guided hike on the South Fraser Witness Trail!
When: Saturday, June 26 at 3:10 pm (Or join us on the C74 bus which leaves Surrey Central Skytrain Station at 2:49 pm from bay 12 under the tracks).
Where: We will be meeting at the C74 bus stop at 168 St and 108 Ave in Surrey’s Fraser Heights neighbourhood. The trail head is just across the street at the green gate.
What should I bring? Snacks, water, sturdy footwear, camera, friends.
Beer after: Central City Brew Pub at Surrey Central Skytrain.
Important Note: The Fraser Heights Neighbourhood is no longer accessible via 152nd Street (for cars). Use alternate route if driving.
The hiking trail has rugged sections and water resistant footwear is recommended.
For more information see www.gatewaysucks.org/trail or call Eric at 604 877 1223 (Day of contact 604 762 0153)
April 25, 2010
DELTA, BC – GatewaySucks.org and the Council of Canadians (Delta/Richmond chapter) unfurled a massive banner today that reads “CLIMATE ACTION NOW” on land slated for freeway construction.
Historic homes are being demolished, and ancient indigenous sites are under threat from the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR) project here on the Fraser River bank. The est. $2 billion SFPR is part of the controversial Gateway program, which would greatly increase greenhouse gas emissions in BC.
The action took place at River Road and Centre Street in Delta. It coincides with the multi-faith Pilgrimage to Burns Bog, and is visible from the pilgrimage route across the Alex Fraser Bridge. Pilgrims and activists aim to raise awareness about Burns Bog, a large, carbon-sequestering peat bog also under threat from the SFPR freeway.
“Our neighbours are being forced out of their homes, and ecosystems are being bulldozed,” says Delta resident Ernie Baatz. “Schools and programs are being cut across the province to pay for this climate changing freeway. We have to stand up to this appalling waste.”
Baatz and fellow activists also planted trees at the site today, to highlight the area’s potential as a riverfront park, not a riverfront freeway. Although preparatory work has begun on some sections of the SFPR, no build contract is in place. A request for proposals was issued by the Ministry of Transportation in April 2009.
Today’s action is part of a week of events dubbed “Earth Action Week” by GatewaySucks.org and the Council of Canadians (Delta/Richmond chapter). For the full list of events see http://www.gatewaysucks.org/earth-action-week-april-1826
Photographs are available at http://gatewaysucks.org/picture-links
For more information about the Pilgrimage to Burns Bog see http://www.pilgrimage2burnsbog.org