by Susan Crean, March 9, 2023

Respect Indigenous Rights STOP Funding Pipelines

Some twenty-five SCAN! members are milling about the temporary entrance to Royal Bank’s branch at St. Clair and Yonge Streets — unmistakable for its large, brilliant blue entrance. The sidewalk is generous, even with a curbside bank of snow. So, there is room for people to stand. And for those with walkers to sit.

Bundled in wool hats and puffy coats a dozen line up alongside the entrance, each equipped with a hand-painted “mask” — actually, the head, hair and ears, with a space left for the real-life face.  Bank executives, and oil magnates take their places.  It’s almost earie, even at noon on a sunny day as, for a moment, the storyline takes over. The group moves and breaks into a lusty chant.  “Liars, Liars…” it begins.

Today the signs highlight RBC’s investment in the fossil fuel industry. Specifically, in pipelines. The chants carry the message and the leaflets explain.  Everyone is part of the interaction with passing pedestrians. People smile, tentatively as they pass.  Most accept the leaflets.

As it happens, the perfect number of SCAN! members have shown up. There isn’t much space, but enough for the performers, perfectly showcased against the blue background. Nick de Carlo is on hand with leaflets.  We have our (SCAN!) buttons on!

Towards the end of our noon hour appearance, an RBC employee emerges. Politely inquiring our purpose and noting the police had been contacted. (Not summoned, we note.) She likes the idea of the Raging Grannies.  Meanwhile, people pause on their way past, pointing to the two slogans highlighting the importance of Indigenous rights.

In short — SCAN! put on an interactive demo, well-suited to the mid-morning crowd. We were pleased to see each other, and the enthusiasm carried the day.  Thanks to everyone!

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