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NEWS: Comox chapter joins ‘peaceful direct action’ coalition

The Comox Valley Echo reports, “A new coalition of Comox Valley community groups has had its first meeting, pledging to unite in support of ‘peaceful direct action’ in the community. A healthy turnout off about 100 people crammed into the Evergreen Seniors’ Lounge at Florence Filberg Centre on Thursday night to hear from a panel of seven speakers from seven organizations represented at the meeting. …The phrase ‘peaceful direct action’ was coined by members of the coalition. (Spokesperson) Kel Kelly said it could be defined to include conventional civil disobedience, such as marches or public assembly, but he also said it could involve measures like letter writing campaigns, or public performances of satirical plays or music.”

“In addition to Kelly, other panel members included Marie Gaudreau of Nocoalmine.net, Janet Fairbanks of World Community Development Education Society, Gwyn Frayne of the Comox Valley chapter of the Council of Canadians, Delores Broten of Comox Valley Water Watch, Mike Bell of the Comox Valley Sierra Club and John Snyder of Comox Valley CoalWatch. Each of the seven briefly explained why they became involved in the coalition. …Frayne said federal and provincial governments have failed to address key issues such as child poverty, seniors’ resources and legal aid, all the while undermining the democratic process through parliamentary prorogation and other measures. ‘We have seen over and over how our voices individually are nothing,’ she said. But as a group, she said, those voices are harder to ignore.” “Local examples that frequently came up included the proposed Raven Underground Coal project, the Gas N’ Go on the Courtenay Estuary and objections to development-friendly zoning in community plans.”

You can read more about community opposition to the Raven coal mine at http://canadians.org/blog/?p=9296.

“The group will be hosting an open community gathering later in September, featuring two prominent guest speakers. The first, Leo McGrady, is a Vancouver-based lawyer who has written a guide to civil disobedience for B.C. citizens, including an updated version for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The second, Maude Barlow, is the national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. She is the author of 16 books, including the bestseller Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water.” The full Comox Valley Echo/ Postmedia article is at http://www.canada.com/Peaceful+direct+action+coalition+forms/5158983/story.html.