Home | About Us | Archive | Documents | Campaigns & Issues | Links | Contact Us

      Climate Justice Organizing Must Be Collective & Consistent

      By Alison Bodine

      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 postering.

      September 23

      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.

      October 7

      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.

      October 21

      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.

      November 25

      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

      Back to Article Listing