A few years later the cover of Time magazine’s person of the year in 2011 was The Protester. The civil war in Syria was just under way, the Arab Spring was in full bloom and the Occupy movement was taking hold. Idle no more followed in 2012. Where has all this activism taken us? Have we made any progress? I guess it depends on who you ask and what progress looks like.
The Keystone XL pipeline has been rejected by the United States. Drilling in the Arctic has been halted, the major pipelines proposed on the Canadian west coast are under extreme scrutiny, super tankers have been banned off the coast of British Columbia, but we still have a long way to go. Even the national energy board has been questioned as to its validity.
The economic down turn in the past five years has resulted in the drop in oil prices along with the global realization that fossil fuels are on the way out. We saw governments choosing other destructive forms of fuel to pursue; the British Columbia government joined in the mad rush for fracked shale gas. Maybe not the best idea since we live in the some of the most volatile and seismically active areas in the world. We now know that Fracking = Earthquakes!
To realize this unsustainable and dangerous dream the provincial government has illegally started construction on the Site C Dam. Sold to the public as a “clean energy project” the destructive Site C dam would flood 107 km of the Peace River valley. This land is the traditional hunting and fishing grounds of Treaty 8 First Nation. Activists including B.C. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and environmentalist David Suzuki have been in the news this week to bring attention to Rocky Mountain Camp that is set up there currently defending the rightful “ownership” of this sacred land.
Each of the above movements have something in common; they have inspired people and taken them from their comfort zones and into a state of activism.
We are now all called to defend the land; to defend the rights of the first nations people, of the 99%, of the underdog and everyday guy who will, and whose children will pay the price for the corporate greed that rules the day.
We are each responsible for taking action now, we are alive and awake right now for a reason. The reason, as I see it, is for us to come together to stop the madness and help choose a new way forward. More people will continue to demand answers, we will not be quiet any longer and we need to use all our resources to stand together and hold the governments accountable for their actions.
We must protest, write letters, join committees and groups and never give up! It is time to defend the land for the future, for the rights to clean air, water and land, for the indigenous people to be respected and for all of us to learn how to really care for this earth before we destroy the amazing gift we have been given.