As noted in Toronto’s NOW magazine ‘Daily Tipsheet’, “Advancing our Common Struggle for Environmental and Climate Justice. From oil pipelines to mega-quarries to climate change, there’s a lot of distance between a clear, fair, carbon-free future and where we are now. This panel initiates a broad discussion on the eco mandate and features Ben Powless of the Indigenous Environmental Network. Raúl Burbano of Common Frontiers, Brent Patterson of the Council of Canadians, Dave Vasey of Environmental Justice Toronto, Andrea Peloso of Code Pink and more. Thursday 7 pm. Free. OISE, rm 2212.”
The event poster highlighted, “Canada’s government remains among the worst promoters of environmental injustice. As we approach the June 2012 Rio+20 world conference on sustainable development, how can we best link and advance our common struggle for environmental and climate justice in Canada and internationally.”
About 85+ people came out for this event. The speakers made very interesting presentations focused on a wide range of issues including the growing threat of militarization, the campaign to stop the Northern Gateway pipeline, understanding the corporate ‘green economy’ agenda, securing water justice for the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, and much more.
We expressed solidarity with these fights and noted our intervention at the World Water Forum this March to advance the implementation of the human right to water and sanitation; our regional meetings of chapters across the country in April; our Great Lakes speaking tour this May to promote the recognition of the lakes as a commons, public trust and protected bioregion; our Shout Out on mining injustice this June 1-3 in Vancouver, as well as our actions against the corporate ‘green economy’ at the Rio+20 Earth Summit later in June. It was also a place to invite people to our annual general meeting in Nanaimo this October and to signal our involvement in the initiative for a Canada-Quebec-First Nations social forum as places to link our struggles.
The questions and comments from the audience were very good and to me indicated a strong desire from a broad cross-section of people to organize differently, campaign more effectively, bridge our divides, and to strategize to win against the massive threats we all face.
The event was organized by Common Frontiers and Toronto Bolivia Solidarity and sponsored by the Latin American Caribbean Solidarity Network, Toronto Greater Workers Assembly International, Science for Peace, Toronto Climate Change Campaign, and the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network.