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      System Change Not Climate Change!

      By Thomas Davies

      After a summer of out of control wildfires, flooding and earthquakes – it's clear the growing climate crisis is having devastating effect around the world. Canada included. So the thought of Texas oil giant Kinder Morgan forcing construction of another dirty tar sands pipeline through Alberta and BC is unwelcome to many – to put it mildly. As the corporation threatened to begin construction at the beginning of September, thousands mobilized on the streets of Vancouver to say, “Kinder Morgan, We Still Say No!”

      People and Planet Before Pipelines and Profit

      The march and rally was organized by the Climate Convergence coalition, and endorsed by over 30 environmental, indigenous, faith, labour, and student organizations. Fire This Time was also and active participant in endorsing and building the demonstration. The urgency of Kinder Morgan's possible September start date brought groups together and created a sense of urgency which overcame the sometimes slower pace of summer organizing.

      Despite a morning of gusting rains, 2000 people came together in front of the steps of the newly renovated Vancouver Art Gallery. Huge banners, homemade signs, and an incredible display of hand painted animals from the Salish Sea showed that many had made the demonstration their own. Led by indigenous elders and drummers, the march was the loudest in recent history as the chanting never stopped from the front all the way to the back.

      The rain had eased off and the sky had opened up by the time to march made it to Sunset Beach for the rally and speakers. The unity of the action was best demonstrated by the collaboration between the two rally MCs: Eagle Eyes, a hereditary chief from Sechelt and Gabby Doebeli, a student at the University of British Columbia and a member of UBC 350.

      Marchers were able to connect with ongoing climate justice campaigns through the many tables set up by climate justice organizations. As the speakers came to a close, Judy Wilson from the Union of BC Indian Chiefs called on everyone present to join hands in a massive circle with indigenous drummers in the middle. It was a powerful ending to a powerful day, but only the beginning of massive organizing effort to stop the pipeline.

      Kinder Morgan, We Still Say No!
      People and Planet Before Pipelines and Profit!
      Kinder Morgan, We Still Say No!

      Follow Thomas Davies on Twitter: @thomasdavies59

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