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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The People Won't Stop

People get gassed, beaten, arrested, and ignored, but they keep trying to get the bosses to understand what's at stake

Posted By on Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 4:51 PM

A few old lessons I’ve re-learned from the Copenhagen climate conference so far:

-The rich and the poor resent each other. They don’t trust each other.

-Assembly and free speech are no long accepted human rights in the corridors of power. Our so-called democratic leaders would rather crack the whip than listen to millions of voices crying out for change. A few recent Copenhagen headlines to illustrate the point: 1,000 arrests Saturday; 18 arrests Monday; 20 arrests Tuesday; 250 arrests Wednesday.

-Despite the above, people never stop trying. It’s been a day of unfurled banners and sit-ins in Copenhagen.

Here in Halifax there have been a series of creative protests desperately trying to reach federal politicians. Sierra Club members dressed as elves and visited MP Mike Savage yesterday.

“He got a bittersweet gift,” Sierra Club Atlantic director Gretchen Fitzgerald says of the event. “Organic candy canes and Just Us! chocolate for signing Kyotoplus, but a lump of coal for blocking Bill C-311.” Savage refused once again to support the bill, which would commit Canada to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to at least 25% below 1990 levels by 2020.

Tomorrow a group of youth in Halifax are planning a John Lennon style bed-in at Peter MacKay’s downtown office at 1801 Hollis St. They’ll be singing climate change Christmas carols and protesting Canada’s efforts to wiggle out of its Kyoto commitments.

Out in Calgary twenty concerned citizens have taken over Stephen Harper’s constituency office. They have given the Prime Minister an ultimatum: get a progressive climate deal done or resign. I have a feeling he’ll choose none of the above, but the effort is gutsy and admirable.

The activists say they had no choice because our future is on the line and having their letters and petitions ignored just wasn’t cutting it anymore. What amazes me is that this is actually the eighth such sit-in in three weeks, according to the Dominion’s media co-op.

-If a-change-is-gonna-come it won't come from the heads of state in Copenhagen. It will come from the actions of these average people who won't stop trying, because they want a future.

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