Jane Fonda delivers speech at Toast the Coast, saying #sHellNoJane Fonda delivered a powerful speech she penned herself on the need to end extreme oil to save the planet and create a liveable future for future generations to thousands of people Saturday, June 13th at Jericho Beach, Vancouver.

Forget the toast of the town, Jane Fonda was the toast of the coast at Greenpeace Canada’s weekend’s celebration of Canada’s beautiful western shores on Saturday June 13th.

The “Toast the Coast” (before the Coast is Toast) event was not only a celebration of the coast we love, but a protest against the network of pipelines from the Alberta tar sands, Shell’s Arctic drilling in Alaska, and the increased tanker traffic down BC’s West Coast that will come from both of these extreme oil sources.

The countdown until Shell drills for oil in the Arctic is on. In just 16 days, the company could begin dangerous oil development in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea.

Actor-activists Jane Fonda and Rachel McAdams were among the more than 5,000 people in attendance – people moved by Shell’s Arctic audacity and recklessness to come out to Jericho beach for an evening of speakers, music, interactive art, and exhibits from two dozen participating environmental organizations.

Scrape off mock-oil paint to reveal a hidden messageAttendees scrape off mock-oil paint to reveal a hidden message of hope and love for our coast under threat.
Painted by artists Corey and KaseyToast the Coast festival goers could watch talented First Nations graffiti artists, Corey Bulpitt and Kasey, live paint these art pieces.
Local artist does salmon sand sculptureAttendees could also watch local artist, Craig Mutch, sculpt this beautiful salmon sand sculpture on the beach.
Corrina performs at #ToasttheCoastCorrina Keeling performs at Toast the Coast. Other musicial guest included Giraffe Aftermath, Viper Central, Sandy Scofield, Monica Lee Band, Ta’Kaiya Blaney, and rap battle roasters featuring MANIK, Bearodactyl and Bizzy Mind (Photo: The Burnaby-Seymour Greens).

Both Ms. Fonda and Ms. McAdams came to amplify the voices of First Nations activists and allies, standing by the individuals and families who call the coast home and are determined to defend it.

“I stand here with you today and against Shell, against Enbridge and Kinder Morgan, because 30 years from now, I want my grandchildren to look back and say ‘Grandma was on the right side of history,” Ms. Fonda told a cheering crowd.

These two actresses say #sHell No to Arctic drilling

The Grace and Frankie star is a long-time activist who stood with First Nations in BC against salmon habitat destruction and in a 1970 protest for land rights in Seattle (where kayaktivists were arrested yesterday blocking Shell’s Polar Pioneer drilling rig from leaving for it’s misguided Arctic mission).

Also in attendance was True Detective star Rachel McAdams, who many people know from her previous work to encourage sustainable lifestyles.

As Ms. Fonda told attendees, you don’t have to have a PhD — or be a true detective, for that matter — to know that extreme oil reserves in the tar sands and Arctic need to stay in the group to keep the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.

Down to earth, authentic and with a razor-sharp grasp of the issues, Jane wrote in her op-ed in Time magazine that Shell’s determination to ignore these facts is “obscene.” Environmentalists aren’t radicals, she said, “the radicals are the oil companies that are destroying the land, the air and the water.”

Saturday’s Toast the Coast was rallying of people behind the beauty of our natural world and the ecosystems that give our communities life. These should be a reminder that we must find a way of living beyond extreme oil.

Jane with Raging Granny at #toastthecoastMs. Fonda talks with a Raging Granny, a group of whom came out to support the event.

Entropy is that second law of thermodynamics. Essentially, it holds that the whole universe is increasingly disordered and is thus in a gradual state of decline. It’s this law that when extrapolated in theory, sadly, that makes time travel to the past (a less disordered state) a physics impossibility.

In other words, the past is irrevocable. We can’t undo the choices we’ve already made. We can only live with them and find a way forward to the future we want.

But, in her poignant Ted Talk delivered at TEDxWomen a few years ago, Ms. Fonda identified the one exception to this universal law of entropy: the human spirit.

The human spirit, she says, can continue to blossom and strengthen even as our bodies weaken with age or illness.

The movement against tankers, pipelines and Arctic drilling is more than 7 million people strong. Even as our planetary systems of ecological order are jeopardized by Shell and tar sands enablers like Enbridge, Kinder Morgan and TransCanada, our resistance grows stronger, louder, unbreakable.

If the human spirit can break universal imperatives, our collective spirit can certainly end extreme oil.

Welcome at #toastthecoastTa’Kaiya Blaney & Kalilah perform a traditional welcome ceremony to acknowledge the event's location on unceded Indigenous land belonging to the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Chief Rueben George (Tseil Wautulh Nation), Chief Ian Campbell (Squamish Nation), the Chinook Song Catchers, Christy Lee Charles (Musqueam Nation rapper and cultural ambassador) welcomed us all.

At sundown on Saturday, Jane Fonda, Melina Laboucan-Massimo and Rachel McAdams followed First Nations drummers and singers from the Squamish Nation to the shore of Jericho Beach, where Toast the Coast attendees launched a salmon lantern and sent it out to sea, with hundreds of wishes attached. The salmon was designed by renowned First Nations artists Roy Henry Vickers and built by local “urban interventionists” Uproot with 100% reclaimed material, a symbol of our hope and determination to spark a brighter, greener tomorrow.

GP Canada ED, Joanna Kerr and Jane FondaGreenpeace Canada Executive Director, Joanna Kerr (right) and Jane Fonda look on as the salmon lantern is prepared for launch.
Salmon Lantern Floats of Jericho Beach at #toastthecoastSalmon lantern floats at sundown off the beach, lit by lanterns on a frame of reclaimed wood and pontoons made from recycled milk jugs. Hanging from it are people's wishes for a future not ruled by Big Oil.

“I’m 77 and I thought I was getting too tired to go to the barricades, but that’s a bunch of B.S.,” said Ms. Fonda.

We’ll toast to that.

Here’s to you, Jane, and to our coast.

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