A group of environmental and animal rights activists chained themselves to the doors of Interior Savings Credit Union on Monday morning. (Dan Taylor - Kelowna Capital News)

A group of environmental and animal rights activists chained themselves to the doors of Interior Savings Credit Union on Monday morning. (Dan Taylor - Kelowna Capital News)

RCMP cut free activists chained to Kelowna bank, placed under arrest

The group is protesting Interior Savings Credit Union’s support of Kelowna Ribfest

The RCMP cut free seven activists chained to a downtown Kelowna credit union branch and arrested them for mischief on Monday.

The group of environmental and animal rights activists chained themselves to the exterior doors of Interior Savings Credit Union early Monday morning to protest the credit union’s support of Ribfest.

Teghan Gordey, an activist with the group, met with representatives of the Interior Savings around 10:30 a.m. and was told the credit union would not drop its sponsorship of the event, a fundraiser for local Rotary clubs.

Shortly after, the RCMP told activists they would be arrested and charged with mischief. No one was hurt during the arrests.

Following the arrests Amy Soranno, told the media she was disappointed in the credit union’s decision and vowed the protesters would continue to escalate their tactics to get their message across.

“We’re uncomfortable, we’re in pain and we’re cold. But mostly we’re upset,” said Soranno. “We are very disappointed with Interior Savings and we hope that eventually, they’ll come to their senses and realize that being on the right side is stopping sponsorship of Ribfest.”

According to the group of activists, it wants the bank to drop its sponsorship because animal agriculture destroys the environment and the festival allegedly uses meat from farms that have been accused of animal cruelty.

Twitter

“We’ve done legal protests for many years now. Our concerns have been ignored, they haven’t been addressed so as I said extreme times call for extreme measures,” said Soranno, prior to their arrest.

“We will go as far as necessary until either the police remove us or until Interior Savings agrees to drop their sponsorship of Ribfest.”

Kelowna RCMP Sgt. Greg Woodcox said he spoke with the protesters and told credit union management officials why they were there.

“They understand that people have the right to protest,” said Woodcox, about two hours before the peaceful arrest of the activists.

A spokeswoman for Interior Savings confirmed it met with the group to hear their concerns about the sponsorship of the event.

“Interior Savings’ approach is to work with groups across its membership to support events that bring the community together, are well-received by the public, and in many instances, raise tens of thousands of dollars to support the important work being done by local non-profits in our communities,” wrote Sue Manzuik, a community engagement specialist, in a news release.

“Ribfest is one of those events, raising thousands of dollars to support local charities including Jo-Anna’s House — a home away from home for people whose families are receiving life-saving support from Kelowna General Hospital.”

She noted Ribfest offers free and accessible entertainment and offers a selection of food options to suit people’s preferences and the credit union remains committed to supporting the community event.

“Interior Savings’ appreciates and respects that everyone has a right to their opinion, to share their opinion and to choose a diet that makes sense for them,” wrote Manzuik.

“Interior Savings remains committed to supporting top-notch community events that raise tens of thousands of dollars for those in our community who need a helping hand.”

In July, a similar Ribfest protest was held by a group called the Kelowna Climate Save.

During that protest, the group used chalk to mark the sidewalks outside Interior Saving to express their concern about the impact animal agriculture has on the planet.

—With files from Dan Taylor and Twila Amato

READ MORE: Kelowna RibFest targeted by environmental activists


Paul Clarke
Assistant bureau chief, B.C. Interior South Division
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A group of environmental and animal rights activists held signs on Monday morning in front of Interior Savings Credit Union, which sponsors Kelowna RibFest. (Dan Taylor - Kelowna Capital News)

A group of environmental and animal rights activists held signs on Monday morning in front of Interior Savings Credit Union, which sponsors Kelowna RibFest. (Dan Taylor - Kelowna Capital News)

RCMP cut free activists chained to Kelowna bank, placed under arrest

Just Posted

After holding recent meetings socially distanced but in person at Isfeld Secondary, the board of education was back meeting via Zoom because of recent pandemic restrictions. Image, screenshot
Most parents approve of schools’ handling of pandemic, says Comox Valley superintendent

Schools forced to adapt to COVID-19, including finding alternative to regular theatre production

The Gnarly Craft Fair is going virtual this year. Photo by Kim Stallknecht
Gnarly Youth Craft goes virtual

The virtual fair will be open until Dec. 19 and features talented youth aged 9 -19 years

Lake Trail Middle School in Courtenay has closed again due to a threat Friday (Dec 4). File photo
Lake Trail Middle School closed for the second time in a week due to threat

On Nov. 26, the school was closed for a day while a similar incident occurred.

Comox Valley singer-songwriter Helen Austin, and Cincinnati’s Paul Otten are Big Little Lions. Photo via biglittlelions.com
Big Little Lions earn Canadian Folk Music Award nomination

Duo featuring Comox Valley singer-songwriter Helen Austin keeping busy during pandemic

The CSWM board affirmed its statutory holiday closures decision for solid waste delivery to the regional landfill, despite scheduling issue for one member municipality. Record file photo
Cumberland ‘holding the bag’ over landfill holiday closures

CSWM and hauler will look into scheduling options for the community

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Beefs and Bouquets
Comox Valley Beefs & Bouquets for week of Dec. 2

Beef to deer hunters; bouquet from a store owner to shoppers

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty respirators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan releases his election platform, Vancouver, Oct. 6, 2020, featuring COVID-19 relief payments promised for most households. (B.C. NDP photo)
Next $1.5 billion in B.C. COVID-19 cash ‘prudent,’ Horgan says

New round of paymens for household incomes up to $175,000

KIJHL games have been postponed through Dec. 31. (File photo)
KIJHL postpones all games through end of 2020

Due to provincial health orders, games up to Dec. 31 have been pushed back

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Former Kelowna social worker arrested for allegedly stealing from foster kids

Robert Riley Saunders was arrested in Alberta and will be brought back to B.C. to face charges

A fountain of water spewed from a Courtenay fire hydrant Friday (Dec. 4) morning after it was hit by a vehicle on Fitzgerald Avenue. Photo by CTV Vancouver Island
Vehicle hits hydrant in Courtenay sending fountain of water in the air

Comox Valley RCMP were on scene looking at a vehicle left behind which had extensive damage.

Most Read