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Image via Facebook, taken by Jason van Bruggen

Vancouver “Toast the Coast” rally gets a star-powered boost

The activists rallying against Shell’s plans for drilling in the Arctic are getting a helping hand from some big name celebrities.

Well-known actors Jane Fonda and Rachel McAdams took time to show up at a sizeable Greenpeace rally in Vancouver, Canada, last weekend, according to Huffington Post. Some 5,500 people were gathered at Jericho Beach Saturday to express their disapproval of Shell’s planned operations.

The organized event, “Toast the Coast,” was aimed at celebrating Canada’s beautiful Pacific coastline while condemning activities that could put them at risk. In addition to the celebrity appearances, there was live music, participatory art, games and other activities.

Toast the Coast didn’t just highlight Shell’s Arctic drilling program, however. Proposed pipelines for tar sands crude and oil tanker traffic were also topics of concern, all of which are a perceived threat to Canada’s environmental well-being.

Fonda later wrote a post for her website about the importance of stopping Shell and commending those communities that have the audacity to stand up to Big Oil. “I came here to add my voice to theirs in opposing Artic oil, pipelines and increased super tanker traffic in this beautiful part of the world,” she wrote. Fonda called the Toast the Coast rally “moving, inspiring and colorful,” sharing the stories of those she met, from leaders of the First Nations to an 11-year-old activist.

“Even if there is no spill, if we allow Shell to drill, pump and burn that extreme Arctic energy, we will fail to slow global warming; precious species will go extinct,” Fonda wrote. “This is what’s at stake in the Arctic.”

Fonda ends her post with a very serious call to action:

Listen to me: There is no need for big oil to keep drilling and spilling. We have enough fossil fuel in existing reserves to carry us over until we have 100% green energy. And we can do it IN TIME! We can meet the target 2 degrees Celsius in this decade but not without people—everyone, no matter who you are or what you do–mobilizing to stop the Big Oil radicals who are demanding the right to rape the earth in their quest for dangerous extreme energy in dangerous, extreme places.

Although the rally remained peaceful and concluded without incident, Fonda had made it clear that she was willing to be arrested for her activism if it came down to it.

McAdams is also no stranger to taking steps to protect the environment. She confessed on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show in 2013 that she doesn’t own a car and instead gets around her hometown of Toronto via her bicycle.

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