Fracking is a toxic, dangerous, and wasteful form of natural gas extraction that we may see around London, Ontario. The water pollution is the worst of the fracking impacts. Tap water has become flammable after fracking is done to break gas out of nearby shale rock. A stew of toxic chemicals is pumped into each gas well, and radium is one of many underground substances that can be unintentionally released during this extraction.
In spite of all of those dangers, there are plans for shale gas exploration around London - http://stopfrackingontario.wordpress.com/fracking/in-ontario/london/
In addition to water contamination, we also should be concerned about explosion risks, air pollution, water depletion, methane greenhouse gas releases, earthquakes, increased truck traffic, and deforestation.
If you are worried about all of these threats from fracking, please come out to this rally to show your concern, and learn more about what we are up against.
Two sets of photos from the protest can be seen here (on Facebook) and here (on Flickr).
For April 20th, activists in London, Ontario, Canada gathered for a bike rally; and many of us joined a “public participation” event at city hall, immediately afterwards. The critical mass bike rally was held to join the Day of Action Against Extraction, and the municipal meeting afterwards was about Wal-Mart plans for a “SmartCentre” around an environmentally sensitive area known as the Meadowlily Woods.
During our bike rally, we returned to a Shell station where we had a protest in October, 2010. Those October and April gas station protests were about the worldwide impacts of extractive industries.
The ride was our first local critical mass rally this year. Climate Justice London called the bike rally, with support from the People for Peace (London), and other local activists.
Here‘s a video from our latest rally against extraction.
The Indigenous Environmental Network -
“Cancun Betrayal, UNFCCC Unmasked as WTO of the Sky“: “Real Solutions to the Climate Crisis Will Come From Grassroots Movements”
(To the extent that the UNFCCC framework is being denounced there, I agree. And, at future UN COP Summits, it will make sense for NGO representatives and regional activists to be there, even as they stress that the UN climate Summit framework has proven to be unsalvageable.)
Here’s most of the announcement about the publication -
Climate Justice Montreal and members of the provisional committee for the foundation of the Climate Justice Co-op, launched a new publication entitled Beyond Parts Per Million: Voices from the Frontlines.
Featuring accounts from frontline communities around the globe and connecting climate and social justice struggles, this project aims to amplify the voices of those people most impacted by environmental destruction and a changing global climate.
The vast majority of the work on it actually was done in Montreal. Compared with the Montreal activists, I was much less involved. But it still is great to be part of the project.
Our bank re-branding actions were carried out in solidarity with climate camp activists in Montreal who were confronting representatives of dirty industries at a World Energy Congress. Here in Ontario we targetted RBC, the leading financier of tar sands operations in Alberta — the most destructive and unsustainable project on earth. Other major Canadian banks have much the same blood on their hands, so making an example of RBC is just a strategic way of pressing for wider changes among the big banks. Activists also have targetted RBC in other parts of the country, and that common target has helped with getting together a little solidarity between our groups.
Here in London (Ontario), our messages about RBC and climate justice were up on RBC’s street signs for at least a day. Our “global warming crime scene” tape didn’t hold out for nearly as long, but we were able to recover most of it after it was torn down.
The climatejustice.tk web address we taped onto RBC’s signs and ATM pointed people to our web site, where there is information about how RBC “KILLS”. A quick street message can’t give much information in itself, but a web address can offer some background.
Absentee managers and owners leave easy corporate property targets for us.
The skull image that we taped to RBC’s sign is a symbol of mining industry piracy. This skull is a variation on part of a pirate Canadian flag that mining campaigners had brought to the Quebec climate camp in August. They made their pirate flag to point out how companies based in Canada are world leaders in mining operations (with loads of foreign investments). Here in Ontario, our pirate image was used to re-brand the local RBC headquarters. Since the tar sands are a mining operation, RBC has a major hand in mining industry looting and pillaging.
The French button also is from the August climate camp in Dunham, Quebec. The button reads ‘Change the system! Not the climate!’.
Here is a video of our re-branding of the local headquarters.
The main campaign around the climate camp is a way of blocking tar sands expansion, while helping out local victims, at the same time. The pipeline project cuts across Maine, Quebec, Ontario, Michigan, Illinois, and other surrounding areas — so there are plenty of points of intervention, and plenty of grounds for solidarity.
These photo sets are from the “convergence days” between August 18th and August 22nd.
In the first photo there are signs that say ‘No dirty oil in our territory’ and ‘climate action camp’ (in French). The banners in other photos say ‘Change the system, not the climate’ (in French), ‘stop the wave of destruction’ (in French), “CO2lonialism”, and ‘Change the system! Not the climate!’ “Trailbreaker = Tar sands”.
Members of our group took to the streets around the G20 Summit in Toronto with concerns about climate change, the Alberta tar sands, assaults on native sovereignty, and other environmental injustices. The Summit police in Toronto threatened, searched, arrested, and detained Climate Justice London activists, while other local climate justice activists stayed away from Toronto to avoid the G20 police regime. Our dissent was not permitted at the Summit. In fact, anyone who was outdoors in downtown Toronto was a potential target for the snatch squads, the riot cops, the mounted horse brigades, and thousands of other police at the Summit. Our allies and our friends were pulled into this ‘security’ sweep, and all of us are left wondering which of the local police officers we encounter have brought their G20 summit training and hostility back to our cities.
Because we condemn this trampling of civil liberties, and because we always will call for democracy and social justice, members of our group have taken on leading roles in preparing a statement about police conduct and detention conditions at the G20 summit in Toronto. People for Peace (London) activists helped to develop that London-specific version of the original statement from Toronto. We hope that more Londoners will sign on to communicate their support.
Threats to our civil liberties will make it even more difficult to continue campaigning against environmental injustices — in a non-violent manner, without destructive sabotage tactics.
This is a summary of a paper I will be presenting at a Sociology conference in Montreal, on June 1st -
A burgeoning array of activists, organizers, and critics are adopting and circulating “climate justice” goals and critiques. These proponents of climate justice claim that groups who are less responsible for global warming also tend to be more vulnerable to these and other climate changes—which some climate justice advocates also see as outcomes of market systems (such as carbon trading). Focusing on gender and race inequities, I will convey how these forms of inequality are bound up with purported causes and consequences of climate change. The gendered injustices I will address include additional burdens borne by women who are responsible for gathering water amidst droughts, as well as food from failing crops. Interrelated climate vulnerabilities—if not ongoing hardships—experienced by Africans, Inuit peoples, and other indigenous groups, all are pertinent instances of climate injustices along race lines which I will discuss. Although climate justice proponents usually highlight international economic disparities, gender and race injustices also are important sides of climate justice concerns and critiques, as I will explain. My overview will bridge various manifestations of the term “climate justice,” while offering a framework that is compatible with some other potential instances of climate justice approaches.
I also delivered an earlier version of this during a Research Day, in my Sociology department.
A key point which the abstract doesn’t convey is the emphasis that I placed on market factors during the presentation — even as I focused on racism and patriarchy.
Update (March, 2011) –
Starting this abstract with “burgeoning array” comes across as being too pompous. There was bound to be some awkwardness involved in trying to talk about the (then) largely non-academic climate justice movement in a professional-scholarly context, but I think that I over-compensated when I started the abstract with those words.