The urgency of organizing to stop the TMX and CGL pipelines and strengthen the international fight for climate justice became urgent with the new report from the United Nations Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on February 28, 2022. The 6th report, which represents the consensus of the world’s best climate scientists, warns that the window for urgent action to avoid climate catastrophe is “closing fast.”
Despite this dire warning, the Liberal government of Prime Minister Trudeau pushes ahead with the climate destroying Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline. It even plans to further expand oil and gas production in Canada, approving the Bay du Nord offshore oil-drilling project in Newfoundland and Labrador in April 2022. In Western Canada, the BC government presses for the continued construction of the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline. At the same time, Wet’suwet’en land defenders and allies continue to face violence and persecution as they defend their traditional territories.
In response to this growing urgency, Climate Convergence, a grassroots climate justice organization in Metro Vancouver, organized and supported actions for climate justice on the streets and online.
Taking Action for Climate Justice
On February 28 and March 9, Climate Convergence called for banner actions with the demands “Stop TMX!” “No CGL!” “Drop All Charges Against Land Defenders!” Despite the rain and chilly weather, there was a great turnout at both actions, one at the busy 22nd Street highway overpass and the other at the intersection of the Lougheed Highway and Willingdon in Burnaby.
As part of the “People Not Profit” Global Climate Strike called for by the international youth-led climate justice organization Fridays for Future, the Sustainabiliteens and Climate Justice UBC called for a rally on March 25. Climate Convergence supported the action and was asked to help marshal and chant. Over 200 people, a majority youth, marched together through the streets of Vancouver from the Art Gallery to the RBC bank branch at Georgia and Burrard, holding signs demanding “System Change Not Climate Change” and “Stop TMX!”
Mobilizing for climate justice on the streets of Vancouver continued with a determined and energetic rally against the TMX pipeline organized by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation's Sacred Trust Initiative on April 9 at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Hundreds of people from many different walks of life united in demanding to Stop the TMX Pipeline! Participants heard from a dynamic line-up of speakers, including leading environmentalist David Suzuki, Mi’kmaw lawyer Pam Palmater, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Na’moks, former Mohawk Grand Chief Serge Simon, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and & Joan Phillip from the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, and Rueben George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Climate Convergence supported the action, bringing banners, signs, and “TMX Out Now!” buttons to share with everyone gathered at the rally.
Cuba and the Fight Against the Climate Crisis
Climate Convergence was also a co-sponsor of the April 8 online Vancouver film premiere of “Tarea Vida: Cuba’s Life Task Combating Climate Change.” Over 150 people participated live in the dynamic webinar, which examined Cuba’s unique approach to combating the climate crisis. Speakers at the webinar included the director of the film, Dr. Helen Yaffe, a Senior Lecturer in Economic and Social History at the University of Glasgow and a Visiting Fellow at the Latin America and Caribbean Centre at the London School of Economics. Also speaking were Kelly White, Coast Salish Elder, Alison Bodine, Central organizer with Climate Convergence Metro Vancouver, and Chris Pforr of the Seattle/Cuba Friendship Committee.
The event was co-organized by Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC), Friends of Cuba Against the US Blockade – Vancouver, the Seattle/Cuba Friendship Committee, Stories of the Salish Seas, and Climate Convergence.
Get Involved in the Struggle for Climate Justice!
As we enter the Spring in Vancouver, Climate Convergence will continue working together with other grassroots organizations on campaigns to stop the TMX and CGL pipelines, fight against the Site-C Dam, and support Indigenous Land Defenders and climate activists that are facing unjust charges for their peaceful actions to defend mother earth. At twice a month online organizing meetings, we discuss building support for local and international climate justice actions and plan for our future events, including upcoming webinars, banner actions, rallies, marches, and more. For information on the meetings, photos, and videos of past events, and to get involved in Climate Convergence, visit www.climateconvergence.ca, on Twitter: @climate604 and Instagram and Facebook: @climateconvergence.
Follow Alison on Twitter: @Alisoncolette
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