Fonda is a well-known and accomplished activist who has been involved with civil rights, anti-war, and feminist movements for more than 40 years. In 1969, she supported the Alcatraz Island occupation calling attention to Indigenous sovereignty. In 1970, she travelled to Seattle to support the Indigenous occupation of Fort Lawton, an act of peaceful protest for which she was arrested.
“I am coming to Vancouver to toast the beautiful coast of Canada, to stand with First Nations and the powerful movement fighting pipelines and tankers, and to amplify the voices of more than 7 million people around the world who are taking a stand against Shell oil,” she said before the event. “Because 30 years from now, I want my grandchildren to look back and say ‘Grandma was on the right side of history.’ The side that says NO to corporate plundering and profiteering at any cost! And YES to the wisdom of limitations and climate justice and jobs and true democracy.”
Shell is set to move its fleet up the coast through Canada from Seattle to drill for oil in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. The Toast the Coast event celebrated a coast under threat from reckless oil development, including Arctic drilling, tar sands pipelines and increased tanker traffic.
“You don’t need a Ph.D. to understand what’s happening here. There are certain oil reserves in the world — Arctic oil and Canada’s tar sands, to name two — that MUST stay in the ground if we are going to keep climate warming at or below the internationally agreed upon 2 degree Celsius,” said Fonda in a statement.
Fonda was accompanied by Greenpeace Canada Executive Director Joanna Kerr, who said:
“There’s something viscerally unsettling about what Shell is trying to do the Arctic. That kind of greed that takes advantage of the crisis of melting ice — a crisis that companies like Shell created — will only intensify the very climate changes that are melting the ice, while putting our planet, First Nations land, and future generations at risk. This injustice speaks to people on a very human level, and that’s what Jane is responding to here. We’re honoured to have her in Vancouver to stand with Greenpeace’s People vs. Oil movement that links communities fighting pipelines to the threat of Arctic drilling.”