Over two years ago Sandeep Kembhavi, speaking on behalf of ForourGrandchildren, commented of the role of the courts as a remedy to the Government’s inaction on climate change. The inspiration for his comments was an address by Dr. James Hansen, who stated that US judges are more likely to force the US government to act on climate change than public opinion.
Since then we have returned to the subject of civil disobedience on four occasions. The main commentary was in connection with a peaceful demonstration on Parliament Hill against the Keystone X Pipeline in September of last year. Any person at the rally who stepped over or under the a fence was arrested. (Part of the fence was a “do not cross” plastic yellow strip hurriedly place before the demonstration).
There was no resistance to the arrest, no damage to property anywhere, the business of Parliament was not disrupted – and a number of grandparents, including a member of our Steering Committee, had their first taste of police procedures.
Tomorrow – one year later- the trial of thirteen people who participated in the protest rally starts. Graham Saul, then the executive Director of the Climate Action Network, explains why he and Liz Bernstein, his partner, will be standing in the criminal dock as a matter of conscience:
“Neither of us want to be arrested, handcuffed, detained or imprisoned. But we are doing everything we can to raise our voices against policies that go against our values – and, more importantly, those of most Canadians. There are, and there always have been, times when our laws and democracy fail us. A government elected with less than 40 per cent of the vote should not be deciding the future for generations to come. And a future built on an unsustainable economy that destroys our planet is not acceptable.”
For further information read this commentary by Mike De Souza of Postmedia News.
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Coal Blockade Follow Up
A Letter from Mark Jacard