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

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

GIF
’90s rock band resurfaces with songs never properly recorded or released

Underwater Sunshine’s online reunion involves four guys who lost contact for years

Tim Siebert, one half of the partnership behind Citrus & Cane, says opening the Douglas Street cocktail lounge during a pandemic had challenges, but the bar is ready to adapt to whatever comes next. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
New Victoria tropical cocktail lounge designed with COVID-19 safety in mind

Citrus & Cane opens in site of former Copper Owl after eight-month delay

Kennedy Nikel, applied marine biologist at Cascadia Seaweed, here seen in late September, shows off bull kelp (in her left hand) and rock weed. The company is spear-heading an annual seaweed festival scheduled for May 13-21, 2021, with Sidney council have signed off in principle. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Cascadia hopes to see Sidney host seaweed festival in May 2021

Council supports the idea in principle following a presentation by Cascadia Seaweed

Trevor Davis, base manager of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation in Sidney, stands in front of the Hecate Sentinal, an oil skimming vessel based at Sidney’s Van Isle Marina. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Oil spill response base taking shape on Saanich Peninsula

Enhanced base with elements in North Saanich and Sidney to be fully operational in fall 2022

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read