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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Council of Canadians, London Chapter updates, May, 2014/ Line 9 Pledge of Resistance

Dear Activists - 

Since we were not able to send the minutes of the April 14 meeting out until this late date (BUSY doing CoC work) here are the updates and CHANGES to the minutes:

 1) Earth Day in Ingersoll was wonderful - met George Henry, Chippewa of the Thames , and will work with him against Line 9 and to save the Thames River - Maude Barlow helped walk the Water Serpent - lots of us went. 

 2) Earth Day in London - Water Serpent taken around by Boys' and Girls' Club -Thank you Cathy Quinlan, Paula Papel, and Daisy Oliver. 

 3) Defend our Climate Day of Action - Two actions: Lead Now event in Victoria Park got a crowd, and 50 people from all over, Guelph, Kitchener, Toronto, Sarnia, and London went on the Toxic Tour in Sarnia, got educated (it is appalling - I will share more at a later date) and supported the Aamjiwnaang First Nation in solidarity. Line 9 Snake and Water Serpent marched in a stiff wind with 24 puppeteers. Important to continue to support them in anyway we can. Serious situation! 

 4) Tzeporah Berman spoke at the Central Library last night and energized the audience - a new crowd - lots of potential activists for the important anti-Line 9 campaign we are engaged in here in London. See Rising Tide Toronto message below. Google - Not Worth the Risk Report - read it - print out copies - share it with friends - PLEASE 

 5) New place for our meetings needed - Tolpuddle most likely not available - please look around for free, can hold 25, can show films, central and easy to get to with free parking. Write us back if you find somewhere. 

 6) June meeting date and place not found at this time. It will still be a potluck and George Crowell will speak about the Bank of Canada and how it will help solve some of Canada's problems. 

 7) Our Solidarity Film Coalition will be hosting Cinema Politica next fall. 

 8) SLAVERY was eliminated, WOMEN have the vote, the VIETNAM WAR ended, ENDANGERED SPECIES have been protected and populations are returning, the UN passed the RIGHT TO WATER resolution, LABOUR UNIONS created decent working conditions where there were none before, we have MEDICARE ………….all these happened through grassroots organizing, relentless resistance, patience, and networking. Today the issues are CLIMATE CHANGE and holding on to DEMOCRACY. 

 9) EACH OF US has a little time and some skills and experience. TOGETHER WE ARE A FORCE. WHAT WILL YOU DO? 

Roberta Cory, Chair 
Council of Canadians, London 


From: "Rising Tide Toronto via" 
Subject: Update: Line 9 Pledge of Resistance 
Date: 13 May, 2014 9:52:18 AM EDT 
Hi there! 
Rising Tide Toronto would like to send you a (delayed) thank you for being one of over 600 people to take our Line 9 Pledge of Resistance. It's powerful to think what over 600 of us can accomplish for our communities and our environment if we work together to stop this reckless project from being built. With construction along Line 9 rapidly moving forward, it is more important than ever for us to stand together to protect our communities, our environment and our future, and we need to be able to keep you updated on what's happening, and how people who've taken the Pledge of Resistance can take action. To make our ongoing organizing as easy as possible, the folks at Leadnow - whose awesome petition system we used for the pledge of resistance - have said we can keep you updated directly via our own Rising Tide Toronto mailing list, rather than Leadnow's system, as long as that's OK with you. Of course, we're deeply committed to respecting your privacy, and rest assured, Rising Tide Toronto will never spam you. All our emails are sent with the understanding that you, like all of us, likely have a busy schedule to manage. We only hope that RTT can help you to nonetheless stay up-to-date and involved on this important issue that affects all of us. This email is coming from Leadnow's petition system. If you would prefer not to get updates directly from Rising Tide Toronto in future, please just click the "opt out" link at the bottom of this message. (You can also opt out in the future at any time as well.) In Solidarity Always, Rising Tide Toronto 


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Climate Day of Action, May 10, 2014: Sarnia, Here We Come!

Toxic Tour in Sarnia for the Climate Day of Action on May 10, 2014 looks like it's attracting large numbers of peeps from all over Ontario! The place to be! There should be plenty of puppeteers to operate both giant 30 foot long snake puppets, the Black Line 9 Snake (representing tar sands pipelines) and the Blue Water Snake (representing our precious fresh water, especially the Great Lakes and associated waterways and watersheds). Plans for the snakes include taking the Black Line 9 Snake from Sarnia to the terminus of Line 9 in Quebec and taking the Blue Water Snake from the headwaters of the Thames River to its mouth on Lake St. Clair. The Toxic Tour on May 10 would be the first time both snake puppets have appeared together! Hoping for nice weather, because they can't be used in the rain... If you need a ride to Sarnia from London call Roberta 5196012053.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Anti-Harper Demonstration: Anonymous Report from the Marconi Club, May 2, 2014

Conservative "Volunteer" confronting anti-Harper demonstrators
Report on the Conservatives 3rd year anniversary party from the Marconi Club: In the line up there were some people who threw disgust at the protest but even more of them felt uncomfortable and nervous in the line so the protest had some effect. No microphones for questions from the audience and I have never seen so many RCMP and local police at an event in London before. They had what appeared to be the Western Conservative Club (Hitler Youth) on the stage behind where Harper spoke so the cameras could film the youngest Conservative contingent even though the crowd was predominantly 50+. They did however have the creme of London's political, business, academic and even members of London's non profit agencies there. 

Harper was way late in getting started, and he spoke, thankfully, for only about twenty minutes. What he didn't talk about was more interesting than he did talk about which are the Con's faithful, a strong stable economy, safer streets, etc. He did drone on about the economy but he never mentioned the oil and gas industry at all. He talked about making strong and preserving things for the future but he only gave one line to the environment in the way of preserving Canada's park system, the rest of the night was made up on the Con's talking points and the fact that the opposition fought him on all of the "great" things the Con's have done for Canada during this session. When he talked about the opposition he only talked about the NDP Party as a whole but Justin Trudeau only for the Liberals. 

He wanted the Party faithful to keep working for the Party but I am surprised he never mentioned anything about money for the next election. I would have figured that would have been the time to try and get those purses and wallets loosen up but I expect massive amounts of follow up requests. 

Harper's biggest round of applause was for his support for Israel against Arab terrorists (his words) and second biggest was for his support for the Ukraine. It seems that Cons believe everything western news outlets broadcast or publish.

For a news story on the demonstration click here.

Michael Loebach's blog on "A River Runs Through Us"

Report on OPAL event, Ingersoll District Memorial Arena,  Saturday April 26, 2014 

(For a few photos of the event click here. For a newspaper article, with photos, click here.)

OPAL stands for Oxford People Against the Landfill, referring to a site of a quarry near Ingersoll, Centreville and Beachville. The quarry is used up and is now the site of a manmade lake, but for which there is a proposal for a landfill. It is opposed for not being wanted so close to the communities, and for being unsafe for the watershed and the Thames River, as the site is porous limestone and very close to the river. The communities want to retain the lake for recreational use.

There were several hundred people present, including strong presence of the Council of Canadians. There was literature about the project and OPAL, numerous petitions to the Ontario Ministry and politicians, and booths and literature of many other affiliated organizations. OPAL has built a strong alliance of organizations, including the Oxford Committee on Social Justice, Habitat for Humanity, and many environmental organizations, among others.

There were four speakers. 

Steve McSwiggan, chairperson of OPAL, who also acted as MC, gave an overview of the regulatory process involved, and how the group was opposing the project. 

Tom Comiskey, the mayor of the town of Ingersoll, spoke against the project and how it was important for the future generations of residents, for the current generations to protect their water and environment. 

George Henry of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nations council, spoke about how the First Nations have the constitutional right to be consulted and to consent about resource usage, and that they intend to enforce those rights with respect to this project, as they are downstream on the Thames. 

Finally Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians gave a passionate and highly informative broad ranging talk about water resources, water supply and pollution. She outlined what she considered fundamental principles of water, including water as a human and legal right, water as a community property, and water as, despite the potential for conflict and hardship as a result of growing shortage, a unifier of action to preserve life now and in the future. She stated that water shortages are becoming acute in many parts of the world, noting particularly in California and western China. She noted how overuse of water by industry and cities is resulting in diminishment of watersheds and aquifers, and transfer of water to the oceans, augmenting the rising of ocean levels also being caused by climate change. She criticized recent federal legislation which has significantly reduced regulatory scrutiny and oversight of water and water resources. She praised the efforts of OPAL and its alliance, and related how a similar project in Simcoe County was stopped after a long community based struggle.

The speeches were followed by an attempted walk to the site of the quarry, which was truncated due to the cold windy conditions, and in the evening by a fundraising dance and silent auction.   For information on how to get involved and donate, see the OPAL website, link below.