A new activist group in Victoria claims to have deflated the tires on at least 34 SUVs in the region.

In a media release, the group dubbed Tyre Extinguishers said they “disarmed” the SUVs in Victoria and Oak Bay Thursday night.

“This is just the beginning,” the group said in the statement.

“We are a worldwide direct action environmentalist group with the goal of eliminating SUVs from urban areas. We do this with one simple tactic: deflating the tires of these massive, unnecessary vehicles, causing inconvenience for their owners without endangering any lives in the process.”

After the tires are deflated, the group leaves a note on the vehicle which says, “Your gas guzzler kills[…] You’ll be angry, but don’t take it personally.”

Here’s a copy of the full leaflet left on vehicles:

Victoria Buzz has reached out to VicPD to confirm if there were any reports of deflated tires in the municipality who confirmed they’re investigating and would provide an update on Monday. We also inquired what penalties the group will face if caught.

Oak Bay Police confirmed they received nearly a dozen reports of vehicles with flattened tires.

It’s unclear who’s behind the new group as no names were revealed.

Here’s a full copy of the media release from the organization:

Last night, we (Tyre Extinguishers) disarmed 34 SUVs in Victoria and Oak Bay, and this is just the beginning. We are a worldwide direct action environmentalist group with the goal of eliminating SUVs from urban areas. We do this with one simple tactic: deflating the tires of these massive, unnecessary vehicles, causing inconvenience for their owners without endangering any lives in the process.

We are taking action because, like so many British Columbians, we have felt angry, powerless, afraid, and overwhelmed at the global scale of the climate crisis and the glacial pace of action, and we have asked ourselves: what direct action can we do that makes a difference?

Some say “this will just make people angry with no impact, you won’t win anyone to your side,” but history does not bear this out: direct action works, and places where Tyre Extinguishers are active have seen reduced sales of SUVs without harming anyone.

Direction action is as accessible as a lentil in your hand.  So if you too have wondered “what can I possibly do?”, join us.

SUVs are more detrimental to our climate than people might realize. Since 2010, they have been the second largest driver of rising global carbon dioxide emissions–more than the entire aviation industry.

SUVs serve no purpose. Their safety is an illusion–studies show that SUVs are no safer for their drivers than the average mid-size car.

They cause more air pollution than smaller cars, and their height and mass make them more likely than normal cars to kill children, pedestrians, cyclists and animals.

The world is facing a climate emergency. Millions of people are already dying from climate change related causes.

We need emergency action to reduce emissions immediately. We are taking action into our own hands because our governments and politicians will not.

We know some people will be frustrated, upset, and/or angry at us. Unfortunately, we do not have any time to waste in reducing our emissions.

The people whose tires we have deflated will be inconvenienced, but ultimately, will be able to get around by using public transit, walking, or cycling like so many other residents of Victoria and Oak Bay do.

To those who find public transit inconvenient, we encourage them to consider contacting their political representatives to advocate for better transit service and active transportation infrastructure in their neighbourhood and across the region.

The Tyre Extinguishers want to see bans on SUVs in urban areas, pollution levies to tax SUVs out of existence, and massive investment in  comprehensive and robust public transit and active transportation infrastructure. But until politicians make this a reality, Tyre Extinguishers action will continue.

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