By Dylan Penner. Community actions were held in 25 cities across Canada today to step up the opposition to Stephen Harper’s agenda. Community members gathered as part of the launch of Common Causes, a new collaboration of Canadians to defend democracy, the environment, and human rights. The day of action was planned jointly with Idle No More grassroots founders as well as regional organizers from across Canada.
“Over the last two years, we have witnessed amazing organizing and mobilizing in Canada – from student movements in Québec, to the ‘Defend Our Coast’ struggle against pipelines in British Columbia, to scientists speaking out against the ‘Death of Evidence,’ to the environmental community standing together through the ‘Black Out Speak Out’ campaign,” said Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “The time has come for Canada-wide coordinated action against the Harper government’s agenda, which is fundamentally changing our society and our country.”
Various actions and events were held today in Ottawa, Montréal, Saint John, Summerside, Windsor, Oakville, London, Guelph, Toronto, Regina, Saskatoon, Red Deer, Edmonton, Campbell River, Kamloops, Kelowna, Comox Valley, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Sechelt/Sunshine Coast, Winnipeg, Nanaimo, Victoria, and Charlottetown to bring people together and mark the launch of Common Causes.
“The vision of Idle No More is rooted in the protection of water, air, land, and future generations and is guided by Indigenous ways of knowing and the rights of Indigenous sovereignty,” said Idle No More co-founder Nina Wilson. “This movement is about education and the revitalization of Indigenous peoples as both knowledge holders and leaders and aims to achieve this through awareness and empowerment of all people.”
“We are sending a clear message today. Stephen Harper’s Canada does not reflect the values that Canadians share,” said Paul Moist, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. “Working people have an alternative vision, one where all people, our collective wealth and the environment are respected. We can build an economy in Canada that works for all.”
“There are many processes converging, including Common Causes and the People’s Social Forum, which just had its founding general assembly this past weekend,” said Michel Lambert, Executive Director of Alternatives. “We are building something no political party has done so far – we are creating an opposition that can stop the Harper agenda.”
Common Causes is a new assembly of social movements dedicated to defending democracy, the environment, and human rights. Common Causes will launch today with several community actions taking place across the country.