On Saturday, July 4th about 90 Peterborough Citizens gathered in Confederation Square to send a message calling for a justice based transition away from the tar sands to a 100% clean-energy economy in Canada.
“Our community and our country can be a better place to live in without Canada’s current dependence on the fossil fuel economy.” said Guy Hanchet, one of the organizers of the event. “A vibrant economy based on sustainable energy sources, increased energy efficiency, and reduced consumption can provide more local jobs as well as a much more livable community here in Peterborough and in every other community.”
“Energy East and other tar sands pipelines are a threat to the water, the land, and to our climate,” said Al Slavin. “I took action today because I know that getting serious about climate means we need to leave the tar sands in the ground”.
The We > Tar Sands mobilization, organized nationally by 350.org, was part of a diverse and powerful coalition of groups, from unions representing Alberta oil workers, First Nations impacted by extraction projects, environmental groups, anti-poverty groups, faith denominations, scientists, students, migrant justice groups, and many others who marched for Jobs, Justice, and the Climate through the streets of Toronto on Sunday, July 5.
Cathy Mitchell explained what Sustainable Peterborough is doing to reduce Peterborough’s carbon footprint. Janet McCue introduced the event with singing and ended the event drumming and chanting with the crowd in an inspirational circle dance. Rosemary Ganley talked about the morality issue of Climate change and lauded the recent Papal Encyclical calling for Christians to reduce consumption and live a simpler life. Jorge Barrientos spoke in Spanish of the impact that climate change is already having in his country, Brazil. Tammy spoke of our obligations to our first nations communities, Linda Slavin led everyone in making exchanging names with the person next to them and making a pledge to take personal action and to follow up in a month. Guy Hanchet left us with his view of hope that there are many indications that we are finally gaining traction with an increased awareness of the issue and beginning to see more people around the world calling for action.
Thanks to the other local groups who helped 4RG with this action: OPIRG, Council of Canadians, Peterborough Greenspace Coalition, GreenUP Peterborough, Transition Town Peterborough, and thanks to the people who chipped in distributing placards and 350.org headbands.
Here is a link to the photos contributed by Lorinda Frudd, Drew Monkman, Steve Russell, Rob Steinman, and Al Slavin.
Here is the on-line version of the story printed on the front page of the Examiner on Monday.