Tag Archive: power shift

(This appeared as a comment by Ritch on my last post. It deserves to be highlighted as a guest post.)

The events at the G20 demonstration on Saturday have provoked a series of responses already. This article is not meant to review the events of the day itself but to look at the questions raised by the demonstrations.

Suffice to say the reaction of the police in arresting, detaining, and brutalizing nearly 1,000 people in the largest mass arrests in Canadian history exposes the serious attacks on civil liberties we face.

On Friday before the demonstration I was having a beer with a comrade in Halifax and of course discussion turned to the G20, we both agreed that this would be the perfect demonstration to go off without any property damage. If at the end of the day tens of thousands marched, thousands did sit-ins by the fence but the tactic of smashing windows was not employed then the summit would be a defeat for Harper.

We drew this analysis based on the fact that every where you went there was anger at the billion dollar price tag for security. At a time when thousands are struggling to make ends meet and see the cost of the Summits as exorbitant. Many, consciously or not, recognize that this money is being spent to the architects of the crisis; protecting those who gave billions to the bank while leaving workers and the poor to pay for it. Furthermore, in the lead-up, there was a growing polarisation with many being angry or frustrated with Harper’s attacks on civil liberties, on women’s rights, on the climate, on the economy, and more.

To have had a day of mass demonstrations and militant but non- violent action would have left Harper with egg on his face and given more confidence to those want to find ways to challenge Harper and the market.

Instead, the day went just like clock work—much like other summits. There’s a mass demonstration. A layer of people do a split from that march and then some engage in expressing their rage against the system by smashing windows and other acts. Given the world we live in, it is surprising that more of this doesn’t happen more often.

In response, the police hold back until the main march disperses. They wait for some damage to be done, and then they go on the offensive. They round-up and brutalize everyone left on the streets, including passers-by, peaceful protesters and those engaged in property damage. In Seattle, Quebec, Genoa, etc. this script has played out over and over again. The police wait until the mass organisations leave, then go after the rest. This strategy suggests that the police and the state are keenly aware of who they want—and don’t want—to provoke.

Within this the “black bloc” and their supporters utilise the larger rally and split marches to launch attacks on property and the police. Usually the police wait long enough for damage to be created before they respond. In these situations it is one of the few times the police wait to crack down. Continue reading

Power Shift Coming to Canada

In anticipation of the Power Shift Canada event in October of this year, with the lead up to the UN convention on climate change in December.The CAW Local 222 members are planning on playing an important role in this project. We will be mobilizing and fundraising across Durham Region in Ontario. Both Jesse, Tammy and Myself attended the Toronto meeting to talk about some of the stages and important undertakings this will require. Our goal is to have a very impresive turnout and we call on youth across the country to raise the importance of climate change. The Conference call was last Thursday!!. A french call will take place this Thursday.

Thanks Erin for taking notes on the call and sending them out to everyone here. (attached below)

Our committee really encourages everyone in the network to look into this series of events and to try and play a role in your city, town or province. This could really be a big campaign that everyone in the network would help build up. With that, we would be building upon the strength of our network. The issue is of importance to youth no matter what part of the country you live in.

Lets Do It!! Lets take a major issue on together!! What do you think??

The Canadian Youth Climate Coalition (CYCC) is in the early stages of

organizing an event called Power Shift Canada. We need YOU!

*The plan:*

October 21-23, 2009, we will bring together over one thousand young people from across Canada for two days of awesome workshops and strategy sessions that will build to a MAJOR lobby day on Parliament Hill on the third day. We will deliver our message of change to our elected officials and push the federal government to take bold steps in tackling climate change.

Youth of all backgrounds will come together to create a fresh, positive, and inspiring vision of the future, one focused on our potential to overcome the challenges of the 21st century, build a clean energy economy, create green jobs, increase global equity, and revitalize our economy. Now is the time for action. Now is the time for boldness.

*Why now?*

The timing of Power Shift is critical. It leads into the UN climate negotiations taking place in December in Copenhagen where the international community must pull together a post-Kyoto deal on emission reductions. Canada has been a well-known laggard on the international front,

which makes this action doubly important – we need an international stance we can be proud of.

Young people in Canada have helped lead the charge for a brighter future that has gained national and international recognition. This moment is our chance to leverage that momentum into the largest youth climate action gathering Canada has ever seen!

*Didn’t this happen somewhere else before?*

Powershift Canada will build on the success of similar events across the globe – in the UK, in Australia and in the US. To emphasize the success of PowerShift US, young people

mobilized over 10,000 youth to attend a major demonstration and lobby day in Washington last year! (http://www.powershift09.org/About) It’s time to bring that excitement to Canada and make our voices heard!

*What is it going to take to make this happen?*

To make it happen we need YOUR help! There is a lot of exciting stuff that needs to happen, and a

lot of fun ways to get involved (and we are going to have awesome volunteer titles). This is your opportunity to make history.

Also, spread the word to anyone you think may be interested in making this happen and invite them to the call, hop on the call yourself, and volunteer for a working group. With your help, we can send a strong and unified mass of young people to Ottawa to call for meaningful action internationally and domestically in Canada.

Whether you are super involved with climate issues, or are just concerned about the future, or you’ve never been that involved in environmental initiatives, Power Shift is for you! Power Shift operates under the principle that the well-being of the future is everyone’s issue.

If you have any questions, want to volunteer, or would like to know more, please contact Adam or Tria at powershift@ourclimate.ca