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CARE Tour - 4

Compassion for Animals Road Expeditions #4

Motorists preparing to protest seal hunt

By Andrea Lavigne
Victoria News
Jun 30 2006

Anti-seal hunt activists have planned a funeral motorcade to protest the annual seal hunt.

About 15 cars and 50 people will drive in formation from Victoria to Campbell River - a symbolic distance of 340 kilometres - to protest the 340,000 seals killed annually.

"It's an effort to try to put into perspective the enormity of what we consider a crime against nature," said Victoria event organizer Bruce Foerster. "Were you to lay 340,000 baby seals end-to-end, they would stretch from Victoria to Campbell River, lining both sides of the highway."

The cars will display placards denouncing Canada's pro-hunt stance and be marked with slogans such as "I am Canadian, Boycott My Country."

The motorcade marks the beginning of a five-month protest tour for Anthony Marr, an animal activist from Vancouver. Marr will take his seal mobile on the road to cities throughout North America, speaking about endangered species and the preservation of wildlife. Marr has been conducting similar motorcades on the Lower Mainland and in cities in the U.S. since 2004. Marr chose Victoria as the launching ground for this tour because he said the novelty of the event would garner more attention here.

"We're hoping to sweep all the newspapers and galvanize the entire island," he said.

The challenge anti-seal hunt activists face is getting air time and articles on their activities. Foerster said the march for the seals was successful in drawing 80 people, but no media showed up.

"We considered it only halfway successful. To truly have something worthwhile, you have to get it out to more than 80 people - preferably 80,000 people."

Foerster said Victoria's reputation as an animal-loving, environmentally-minded area should lend itself to this kind of cause, but added that it hasn't really made it easier for the group.

"I'd like to think that there'd be more support here in Victoria than there is," he said. The groups are hoping that by holding protests throughout the year, they'll be able to gather more support by Spring. The majority of sealing takes place in late March.

The motorcade will start at 9 a.m. in front of the B.C. Legislature on July 2. It will stop in communities along the route to hand out literature and talk to the public.

alavigne@vicnews.com 
 

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