Throughout the fall of 2020, poor and working people in British
Columbia and Canada continued to face the brunt of the economic
and health crisis brought on by government mismanagement of the
Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, big oil and gas continued
to expand. Even during the pandemic, at least $2.5 billion taxpayer
dollars (from the federal government’s Covid-19 relief package)
were funneled into mega-projects that violate Indigenous rights and
destroy invaluable ecosystems. In British Columbia, these climate
destroying projects include the Coastal GasLink (CGL) fracked gas
pipeline in Wet’suwet’en, the Site C Dam in the Peace River Valley,
and the Transmountain pipeline expansion (TMX).
Despite the pandemic's health and safety challenges, resistance to
CGL, TMX, and Site C has continued to grow. In Metro Vancouver,
the grassroots climate coalition Climate Convergence has continued
to find unique and effective ways of fighting for climate justice. This
has included events online, physically distanced banner actions on
the streets, and an ongoing public education campaign of large-scale
Climate Convergence organized a banner action outside of Liberal
MP Terry Beech and NDP Leader MP Jagmeet Singh's offices.
This action demanded that the Trudeau government include
canceling the TMX Pipeline as part of their Throne Speech and that
opposition parties make this a prerequisite for their government's
vote of confidence.
Climate Convergence organized the webinar “The State of
Our Planet Today & Building an International Climate Justice
Movement.” This international event brought together people
from four countries on three continents: Francisco Kelvim, from
the Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens - MAB (Movement
of People Affected by Dams) in Brazil; Jhonatan Erik Rodriguez
Macuyama, an Amazonian poet and activist in Peru; Siri Andersen
from 350 Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Climate Convergence
central organizer Alison Bodine. This important event emphasized
that just as climate change is a worldwide crisis, the struggle for
climate justice must also be international.
In the final days leading up to the BC provincial election, Climate
Convergence also organized a banner action at Broadway and
Cambie Street's busy corner in Vancouver. At this action, organizers
demanded an end to TMX. They stood in solidarity with land
defenders who had been arrested by the RCMP on Secwepemc
territory in Kamloops, B.C, for their protests against the pipeline.
Climate Convergence held another critical online webinar, “Stop
Site C Dam! Why We Need To. How We Can.” This event was a
great success, with more than 200 people participating, including
many different communities across BC. This webinar featured
representatives from people and organizations that have been
leading in the struggle against the disastrous and dangerous
project for more than a decade: Wendy Holm, an Agrologist and
editor of “Damming the Peace - The Hidden Costs of the Site C
Dam” (Lorimer, 2018); Ken Boon, President of the Peace Valley
Landowners Association; Rita Wong from the grassroots group
FightC; and Thomas Davies, a founding member of Climate
Convergence and author of “System Change Not Climate
Change” (Battle of Ideas Press, 2019).
Unity in Action
Throughout the fall, Climate Convergence continued to
support other grassroots groups' actions in Metro Vancouver.
This includes the youth-led group Sustainabiliteens, who held
actions on September 25 at MP’s offices demanding the federal
government take action on the climate. Climate Convergence is
also part of the Protect the Planet! Stop TMX! Coalition. This
coalition has held many actions at the Holmes Creek Protection
camp and two virtual “People’s Assemblies,” on October 26
and November 26, to coordinate local efforts against the TMX
pipeline construction in Burnaby and Coquitlam.
Join the Fight for Climate Justice!
2020 was not only characterized by the coronavirus pandemic,
but it is also shaping up to be the hottest year on record,
with worsening hurricanes, droughts, and floods disrupting
and destroying the lives of people around the globe. Looking
towards 2021, the climate crisis will continue to be a critical
issue for humanity. Building a consistent, collective, creative, and
effective climate justice movement ready to fight for “System
Change, Not Climate Change!” is more necessary than ever
before. Capitalism is pushing our mother earth to extinction.
For information about upcoming meetings, webinars, and more
to protect our Mother Earth, visit www.climateconvergence.ca
or www.firethistime.net. Climate Convergence meetings
are held twice a month and are open to everyone interested in
fighting for a better and sustainable world.
Follow Alison Bodine on Twitter: @Alisoncolette
Follow Climate Convergence on Twitter: @Climate604
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