Wow! Everyone at RAVEN is recovering from an amazing, exciting, intense few days at PowerShift 2013 listening to powerful keynotes like David Suzuki, Maude Barlow, Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Crystal Lameman.. to name a few (apologies to the many not listed!), attending panels, working at tables in every venue, and just generally soaking up the energy.
We were intent on getting out the message that with all the information we now have – including the recentIPCC report on climate change that says NOW is the time for action – we are more determined than ever to assist Beaver Lake Cree Nation with its legal action aimed at stopping the expansion of the tar sands in their traditional territory. If we know anything, it’s that the bitumen must stay in the ground. And the best way to ensure that happens is get a court ruling that the industrial activity is unconstitutional (because it completely tramples on the treaty promises made by Canada to protect habitat so the Beaver Lake Cree people can hunt and trap on their land in perpetuity). And when something is unconstitutional, it’s illegal. So all those permits so happily handed out will make good fire starters.
We got to share that information with David Suzuki, who talked about how in just 150,000 years, humans have managed to take this planet to the brink. And how we can’t keep taking out of the earth with utter disregard for the impact on our air, water and land. For those who say, yes, but oil means jobs – please spend a few minutes thinking about what job you would like to have when there is no longer air to breathe, water to drink, or arable land on which to grow anything. That scene from The Lorax keeps popping to mind, where they are ‘biggering’ the factory, biggering the economy, biggering the bottom line’ while blindly destroying what sustains everyone.
So – one of the things we did was collect photos of people indicating their support for BLCN’s brave – and shall we point out expensive – lawsuit suing both Canada and Alberta. They have to sue government because that is who is responsible for the treaty promises. It would be even harder to sue industry because every major oil company and a lot of smaller ones you’ve never heard of are in there – and to stop each one individually would require the wealth of an empire. This legal action will take a lot… but it is doable AND winnable.
If you want to help out, please get in touch and let us know. You can email us here at RAVEN, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with a request to join the campaign e-list.
And here is a handy two-page backgrounder – please make copies and share with your friends, leave them in obvious places like waiting rooms, hand out at movie line-ups… thanks!
And congratulations to Cam Fenton and the massive team of PowerShift 2013 organizers!