Here in Canada, the recent victories of the climate movement have been heartening but as we fight for a clean future one pipeline at a time, we also know that sustaining our movement means uniting against the single biggest barrier to climate justice in this country: the tar sands. And on July 4th, we saw exactly that.
The actions roared across Canada’s timezones. Social media was bursting with beautiful images throughout the day. We’ve compiled them here to give you a story of the day.
1. First off, Atlantic Canada fired off the day with actions in Saint John (NB) and Annapolis-Royal (NS), on both shores of the Bay of Fundy. In St John’s (NL) a march brought dozens of people to the streets and to the waterfront. These folks have been at the heart of the struggle against offshore drilling along the East Coast and on July 4th, they showed a determination to turn things around in their communities. In Fredericton (NB), the community is standing up to the Energy East pipeline, Indigenous leaders led a colourful march from the legislature to demand a justice-based transition to a new economy.
— Miles Howe (@MilesHowe) July 4, 2015
2. In Quebec, Hudson-Oka and Québec City showed us their resolve on bikes and boats. Hudson geared up for a demonstrative flotilla on the Ottawa River — showing us that kayaks and canoes are much more suitable for this gorgeous body of water than the Energy East and Line 9 pipelines, both of which cut through the river. Indigenous human rights activist, Ellen Gabriel, spoke at this event to emphasize that the struggle for Indigenous sovereignty is at the core of our movement.
— Lindsay Hughes (@lindsay_mtl) July 4, 2015
In Lac Mégantic, there was a more solemn convergence in memory of all those that had passed in a devastating oil train explosion two years ago. With the scars of the tragedy being all too recent, the people of this community mobilized to express a resounding ‘no’ to oil sands in their community.
In Amqui and Trois-Pistoles, folks took to the water and train tracks to symbolically demonstrate that are ready to protect the climate, local economies and keep their communities clean.
3. In Ontario, Thunder Bay led the way– Here, community members have been mobilizing against the Energy East pipeline for months, but more importantly they share a common goal to see a prosperous and clean local economy and showed it at a local Festival. Peterborough also joined in with a rally that was complete with a show stopping performance by the Raging Gannies!
— DefendOurClimate (@DefendClimate) July 4, 2015
In North Bay, organizers unveiled a huge highway billboard near their local Trout Lake to highlight the risks of the Energy East pipeline to the water. In Sudbury and Kenora, organizers hit the community fairs to talk to talk to others about the importance of a transition to a justice-based economy.
4. The Prairies weren’t far behind Organizers in Winnipeg brought along another wave of energy that afternoon by paddling and pedalling to protect the water and the land. Traditional landholders, families, cyclists, canoeists, musicians and many others gathered for a spectacular display of solidarity. Communities here were motivated by a deep intergenerational obligation to protect the climate.
— Clayton ThomasMuller (@CreeClayton) July 4, 2015
In Saskatoon and Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, actions for jobs, justice and the climate were particularly urgent given the hundreds of catastrophic forest fires sweeping across the province. Updates from Prince Albert showed determined activists standing amidst a blanket of smoke!
And Edmonton rocked out with a concert that was 60% powered by solar power and bike-pedalling. In a province that continues to derive the majority of its energy from coal, this was a remarkable example of people leading the way to a clean future and putting the voices of Indigenous leaders first.
— Mike Hudema (@MikeHudema) July 4, 2015
5. The West Coast wrapped up the day. In Vernon, BC, kayaktivists spelled out their demands for us: green jobs, not fossil jobs! In Nelson, BC, dozens of kayaks also took to the water, and in Nanaimo, an outdoors concert brought the community together by the ocean. Finally, on the shores of Sunset Beach, the people of Vancouver made a human chain to demonstrate that their resolve to defend the climate was greater than the numerous oil tankers that pass by their coast everyday. Several speakers from diverse horizons took to the stage, including union representatives from Unifor that were ready to see the province move away from dirty jobs in LNG, coal and tar sands pipelines to safe and reliable jobs.
— 350Vancouver (@350Vancouver) July 6, 2015
We’re still blown away by the remarkable actions that took place on July 4th– to see more pictures, visit 350.org/july.