Canada

Greenpeace stunt disrupts Stelmach fundraising dinner

Two Greenpeace protesters disrupted Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach's fundraising dinner Thursday evening when they dropped down from the ceiling in harnesses and unfurled a banner of protest.
Greenpeace protesters dropped from a catwalk to unfurl a banner protesting the development of Alberta's tar sands. (CBC)

Two Greenpeace protesters disrupted Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach's fundraising dinner Thursday evening when they dropped down from the ceiling in harnesses and unfurled a banner of protest.

Stelmach had just begun his speech to more than 1,000 party supporters gathered at a conference centre in downtown Edmonton when it happened.

A man and a woman clad in black dropped from a catwalk high above the floor and unrolled a banner that read, "Stelmach, the best premier oil money can buy."

Security officers moved in when the pair climbed back on the catwalk and then escorted them from the building.

Security guards lead Greenpeace spokesman Mike Hudema out of the convention hall after he spoke to reporters about the protest. (CBC)

Greenpeace organizer Mike Hudema, who was on the floor at the time, said the stunt was aimed at getting his group's message across.

"We want the government of Alberta to start listening to the general public and put an end to the Alberta tar sands," he told CBC News.

After Stelmach finished his speech, he told reporters he didn't know the stunt had happened because it took place at the back of the hall.

In his speech, Stelmach commented that he is planning trips to California and central Europe to dispel the Greenpeace message against rapid oil sands development.

With files from the Canadian Press

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