British Columbia

2 Vancouver climate protests create spectacle during Black Friday rush

A flashmob of about 200 protesters spilled out of a downtown Vancouver mall and erupted into a dance party on Granville Street between Georgia and Dunsmuir amid Friday afternoon rush hour traffic and Black Friday shoppers.

Sustainabiliteens and Extinction Rebellion hold actions against Black Friday consumerism

A flashmob of climate protesters check out second-hand items at a clothing swap as part of a Black Friday protest, Nov. 29, 2019 (Eva Uguen-Csenge/CBC)

A flashmob of about 200 protesters spilled out of a downtown Vancouver mall and erupted into a dance party on Granville Street between Georgia and Dunsmuir streets amid Friday afternoon rush hour traffic and Black Friday shoppers.

The local chapter of Climate Strike Canada, Sustainabiliteens, organized the event called Futurefest, it said, to build on momentum gained during October's action with Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, and to demonstrate alternatives to consumerism by holding a community clothing swap.

"I think it's really cool to be here, especially on Black Friday, especially downtown, because there is such a capitalist culture here that youth are trying to counter," said Grade 11 student Leah McKinney. "In order to be responsible, I have to stand up for people who don't have a voice. "

McKinney said too often the responsibility is put on the average person to change how and what they buy, and it's time for a shift.

"I think that producers need to take responsibility. We're out here to show that we want different options in terms of the kind of clothes that we're buying, and the kind of companies that we're supporting."

Another protest took place in the downtown core Friday afternoon. The Extinction Rebellion rolled out its own kind of flash mob during what it called a funeral procession at Vancouver's Art Phillips Park on Burrard Street.

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