Fast and Vigil for Climate Justice

Hungry for Climate Leadership is holding a fast and vigil for twelve days on Parliament Hill. Our purpose is to demand that the Canadian government address climate change, the greatest threat to our children.

As the Earth warms and extreme weather events become increasingly common, hundreds of thousands perish each year. Our children will feel the deadly effects of the carbon we pump into the atmosphere. In the second half of this century, the vast majority of humanity may perish from the droughts, floods and diseases that climate change is expected to bring. Experts estimate that by 2100 the Earth may only be able to support one billion people. Climate change is humanity’s biggest challenge, yet Canada is not making even the most modest effort to reduce this threat.

This is not an Occupy eulogy

This is not an Occupy eulogy

By Krystalline Kraus

This is not a one year Occupy anniversary piece. This is not a reflective obituary of a short-lived movement as if I were writing about a young life tragically cut short. This is not a eulogy.

Nor is this some cliché French statement: “Occupy is dead! Long live Occupy!”

It’s complicated…

I know it’s a struggle for some people to give up the idea that Occupy would always be around at St. James Park, the Vancouver Art Gallery or Zucotti Park.

I know some people believed that when Occupy began, that spirit would stay trapped in time, trapped in that park or in that city, forever; as if we humans could control a movement by sheer will and our fear of nostalgic guilt.

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Stop Harper! Real Democracy Now!

#S17 #cdnpoli

Monday, September 17th, 2012
12:45pm, Confederation Park, OTTAWA
1:05pm, march to Parliament Hill

We have had enough of Stephen Harper!

Join us on September 17th, the day Parliament reconvenes after summer recess and the passing of the omnibus budget bill AND the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street!

Occupiers have been walking from British Columbia since May Day to spark dialogue, raise awareness, and develop an alternative vision to the one presented by Harper’s Conservatives. Since May 1st others have joined the mission, walking all the way from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba to converge on Parliament Hill on the 17th. Let’s join them to tell the “Harper Government” what we think.

Stephen Harper is illegitimate! He came into power through election fraud and with only 21% of Canadians’ votes, not to mention through an unfair first-past-the-post voting system.

Harper therefore does NOT have a mandate to implement austerity measures, cut corporate taxes, eradicate environmental research and monitoring, continue to exploit Indigenous communities, cut tens of thousands of public sector jobs, attack immigrants, migrant workers, and refugees, approve destructive oil pipelines, cut minority, women’s, and Indigenous programs, buy fighter jets and drones, build mega prisons, and spy on our internet activity.

Mr. Harper, we HAVE been paying attention and we are not going to take it any longer. We demand that you resign immediately.

We also demand a total transformation of our political system. We call it a democracy but it is nothing of the sort. Voting every few years for corporately sponsored parties is not democracy. Relying on elite individuals to make decisions for us is not democracy.

The definition of democracy is rule by the people. This means ordinary people participating in political decision-making on a regular basis, at every level of government. This is what we want: Direct Democracy.

With the power in the hands of the people, we would be making very different decisions.

Let’s begin a mass conversation about what we, the people, want for this country. After the rally on Parliament Hill we will hold a Peoples’ Parliament to discuss our desired direction for “Canada”.

Please join us on September 17th to stop Harper, demand real democracy, and actually create it!

We’ll make history :)

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Occupy’s Brief Stay on the Long Arc

“The true problem… is to allow the problems to arise,” wrote R.D. Laing in The Politics of Experience. No less true today than when published in 1967 – or underlined in red the next year. 1968 saw the Prague Spring and My Lai massacre, the Chicago riots and Irish “Troubles.” Students were murdered in Mexico’s Plaza de las Tres Culturas; they brought Paris to a halt when university occupations spread to factories. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

Three years earlier, the year of Malcolm X’s murder, King delivered one of his now most-quoted sermons. “[T]he arc of the moral universe is long,” he declared from the steps of the Montgomery, Alabama Capitol, “but it bends toward justice.”

New students of social justice still hear stories of ’68 – more than they might about that long arc’s course through their own lifetimes. After all, such stories – activist leaders murdered for their charisma; a world capital nearly taken over by students – seem more fantasy than history, and so don’t implicate Gen X-ers and Millennials, still yet to allow the problems arise in our own time, as more recent events might.

After they arise again, as they must, those who ask how will look to 2011 — the Arab Spring, the Indignados, Occupy’s meta-movement. But, with some distance, 2011 might only make sense in the light of the decade that came before it.

By this point in 2001, hundreds of thousands of “ant-globalization” protesters – who had captured headlines in 1999 by shutting down the World Trade Organization in Seattle – had laid siege to Free Trade Area of the Americas and G8 meetings, in Quebec City and Genoa respectively.

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