Heal Our Planet Earth

Letter to the Editor
Funeral Motorcade for the Seals
July 3rd, 2006

Regional opponents to Canada's east coast seal hunt, are invited to link up through a new blogspot on the worldwide web documenting a unique form of protest that took place over the Canada Day long weekend on Vancouver Island.

Citizen Support for Marine Mammal Protection (CSMMP), a Comox Valley-based grassroots initiative uniting regional opposition to the killing of seals and other marine mammals in and around Vancouver Island coastal waters and beyond, were among those who took part in a symbolic funeral motorcade on July 2nd.

Attracting anti-hunt proponents from Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Qualicum, Parksville, Denman Island, Courtenay and Comox, the funeral motorcade originated in the provincial capital and convened locally in Courtenay's Simms Park with organizer Anthony Marr. The Vancouver-based activist determined that if 260,000 of the over 300,000 young seals killed for their fur on the east coast this past spring alone were lined up nose to tail along the highway, they would cover the distance from Victoria to Campbell River and back again.

A Canadian of Chinese descent, Marr has gained international renown for his outspoken opposition to the use of animal products like seal penises, tiger bone, and bear gall bladders in Chinese traditional medicines. His attempt to implement a BC ban on the trophy hunting of grizzly bears through a voter-driven referendum a few years back, also attracted significant support in the Comox Valley.

Marr's inaugral BC Funeral Motorcade for the Seals- intentionally timed to coincide with our national holiday weekend- also demonstrated that 'dissent is democracy in action'. In alliance with the Humane Society of the United States, the Vancouver Humane Society and others, many concerned people support the current boycotts of Canadian seafood, and Canadian tourism, as long as the DFO sanctioned hunt continues.

While the only political party in our country that has taken a stand against the east coast commercial seal hunt remains the Green Party of Canada, local MLA Catherine Bell has failed to respond to local constituent requests for updates on any NDP Party deliberations concerning incidents of cruelty to animals documented on the ice floes, and human rights violations concerning both national and international third party legal hunt observers.

Local media informed about the Funeral Motorcade for the Seals convergence did not attend. Citizen Support for Marine Mammal Protection invites the area public to visit www.csmmp.blogspot.com for further information and solidarity building. -Fireweed (Citizen Support for Marine Mammal Protection, Denman Island, BC)


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