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)

Just Posted

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

UPDATE: missing 12-year-old Terrace boy found safe

Was reported missing on Southside around 10 p.m. July 9

Terrace conservation officers relocate Spirit bear

Bear roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years

Seabridge Gold starts drilling along proposed tunnel route north of Stewart

Twin tunnels will connect the KSM mine to its mill and tailings site

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Most Read