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Council of Canadians “forging solidarity” in Hamilton this weekend October 3rd to 4th, 2014

Forging Solidarity          Maude Barlow

Hamilton, ON – With one year to go before the next federal election, over 300 Council of Canadians supporters from coast to coast will gather in Hamilton to prepare for the crucial year to come. This Friday, the Council of Canadians opens its conference, Forging Solidarity

“Hamilton has a great history of grassroots and labour organizing. But it doesn’t just end there: First Nations organizing, active transport organizing, anti-poverty organizing and environmental organizing: it’s all happening here in Hamilton,” says Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “The city is an inspiration. This is exactly what we need with our uninspiring Conservative government one year before the next federal election.”

Forging Solidarity will bring together activists from environmental, health, youth, Indigenous and labour groups to fight back against Harper’s austerity agenda, the elimination of door-to-door delivery by Canada Post, and mining and pipeline projects that threaten the environment.

Some of the highlights include:

  • A tree planting ceremony with mayor Bob Bratina and councillor Hamilton Ward 1 councillor Brian McHattie, and the Council’s Vice Chair Leo Broderick and Hamilton Chapter President Kathie Clarke.
  • A rally for good jobs and to protest the elimination of door-to-door delivery by Canada Post in conjunction with Unifor. Protesters will gather letters to send to MPs and to Canada Post.
  • A public forum with internationally recognized keynote speakers such as John Hilary, London Guardian columnist and Executive Director of War on Want; Ben Powless, Mohawk citizen from Six Nations and organizer with Defenders of the Land and Idle No More; John Cartwright, President of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council;  Paul Moist, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE); and Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians.

With over 100,000 supporters, the Council of Canadians is the largest citizen-powered social action group in Canada.

Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina welcomed the group, “On behalf of the City of Hamilton, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the Forging Solidarity. This three-day conference will bring together chapter activists, supporters, and allies for a dynamic event that includes a public forum, workshops, panels and more.

I offer my congratulations to the organizers of this event.”

Ava Hill, Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River welcomed the conference, “I am very pleased to welcome everyone to the Traditional Territory of the Haudenosaunee. I hope that you enjoy yourselves during your stay here and that you have the opportunity to visit the community of Six Nations to experience our culture and our proud history.”

For media events go here.

ADMISSION: The conference is free for accredited media. Friday night is Pay What You Can, with a suggested donation of $15. All are welcome. For the full conference on Saturday, registration is required. Conference admission is $70 for Council supporters and $95 for the general public. The fixed income rate is $35, and the youth rate is $25. Conference registration includes lunch and admission to the Friday public forum. The Saturday banquet dinner is $50 per person and $10 for youth.

Program and registration information is available at: www.canadians.org/conference.

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Photo: katerkate, Flickr Media Commons