Ottawa, Canada, November 29, 2015.
On a grey, chilly day, 25,000 of us (give or take a few) took to the streets of the national capitol. Beautifully diverse in race, origin, faith, age, gender, orientation, and politics, we sent one message to those in power: Climate solutions and climate justice = 100% Possible. 100% renewables by 2050 = 100% possible. Act now or get out of the way.
If you ask me, 2050 is too far away. So easy for slippery politicians to say, “2050? Why not, whatever…” But that’s just me, quibbling.
I suspect there are few illusions among this crowd as to what we face: a towering, apparently seamless wall of greed, governments bought and sold, rampant corruption, fear and inertia. By hook or by crook, the arrogant few inside the castle control the levers of power and will do whatever it takes to hold onto them.
One example: In France the government used the recent attacks in Paris as an excuse to ban all public demonstrations at COP21, the glamourous big stage where ‘world leaders’ aired their platitudes this week, while groveling to their corporate sponsors. Citizens who defied the ban – public protest being one of the few levers we still have – were tear-gassed by police then truckloads of them were arrested. The authorities also house-arrested climate justice activists, and then a lawyer who tried to appeal the protest ban in court.
This tyranny was imposed, and will continue to be imposed, in the name of anti-terrorism. This is the “democracy” that the authorities claim to defend.
But: With the earth’s life support systems under sustained corporate assault and engineered wars, fully backed by virtually every government on the planet, as humanity and our neighbours sink into ever deepening harm and peril, it only takes open eyes to see who are the real terrorists.
Here in comfy Canada, our shiny, smiling new government is doing some good things, beginning to undo at least some of the wreckage perpetrated by the outgoing Northern Republicans (aka Conservatives). At the same time, the newly elected Liberal government openly supports the atmosphere-killing tar sands, the pipelines and trains needed to deliver their toxic brew to ports and ships on both east and west coasts, as well as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a catastrophic corporate-dictated trade agreement, negotiated in secret, that will make it virtually impossible for any signatory government to take effective action against climate collapse.
But despite all this, people everywhere will continue to find creative ways to express their love for the earth and for justice, and their refusal to comply with those who would trample both.
In Ottawa, November 29, 2015, the people’s march for climate justice culminated with the creation of a giant message to Parliament. (Look for me about halfway up the right side of the second zero…)
In our thousands, we spelled it out for them: 100% possible.
Act now or get out of the way.