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March to Capitol brings youth, workforce and Indigenous advocacy under the banner of climate action

Youth activists — some not old enough to vote — lead a march on Capitol Hill on Friday to encourage more governments to address the climate crisis as part of a global day of action. requested to do

The march was organized by Fridays of Future Ottawa and Climat GO (Gatineau-Outauais). The two groups met at Confederation Park and the Maison du Citoyan before marching to the Capitol. Indigenous leaders and labor advocates have also joined the strike to protest inaction on climate change and advocate for cross-cutting environmental movements that include their voices.

“Climate issues affect everyone. Being here means facing your future and building it for your friends and family.

Fridays for Future Ottawa made several demands in its climate strike.

  • Investment in local renewable energy and affordable electric transport.
  • Transitioning Ottawa homes from gas heating to zero-emission heat pumps.
  • Passing Just Transition Act to help workers navigate the global shift away from fossil fuels.
  • Immediate moratorium on new fossil fuel projects, including the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project and the deepwater oil project Bay du Nord.

Organizers also urged voters to always vote with the climate in mind.

Climat GO had two more requests. Imposing heavy taxes on the wealthy, reinvesting the money into social programs to ensure fair conditions for all, and ban all fossil fuels by 2030.

Algonquin Leaders Demand Protection of Land and Water

In front of the magnificent Gothic architecture of Peace Tower, two Algonquin leaders congratulated the demonstrators as they represented the land, water and future generations.

“[Environmentalists] Without our people, we wouldn’t be able to raise awareness or make change,” Elder Claudette Command told Canada’s National Observer. #FridaysForFuture #ClimateStrike #Ottawa

“I am here to speak specifically about water and its importance,” said Kyoki Whiteduck, a community member at Kittigan Zibi Anisinabeg and a food and climate educator at the Ajashki Food Security Project. “Water is life.”

“It’s overlooked here in Canada…we have a lot, so people ignore it too much,” he added.

White Duck’s advocacy stems from the teachings of his grandmother, who was a water steward who was responsible for all water rituals and advocated their importance.

Hundreds attended a rally on Parliament Hill on Friday, September 23, 2022. Photo credit: Spencer Colby/Canada’s National Observer

“Indigenous rights are environmentalism,” he said, noting that indigenous peoples want clean water and clean hunting grounds.

For Elder Claudette Commander, who delivered an impassioned speech clutching two eagle wings and a pouch of tobacco, the climate is all of creation, including us.

“For me, as a person from Anishinaabe, when I say climate, when I say environment, I mean the land and all the creatures attached to it,” Commanda said. Canadian National Observer.

“Here nature was the first creation, so to destroy nature is to destroy ourselves.”

It’s refreshing for Commanda to see so many non-Indigenous people defending not only the land, but also the relationship between Indigenous peoples and the land. It’s the change in the environmental movement she saw during her lifetime.

Years ago, indigenous peoples weren’t included, but now, with no choice, environmentalists are reaching out, she said. Indigenous peoples’ knowledge and understanding of the subject make them an essential voice in the movement, she said.

“[Environmentalists] Without our people, we wouldn’t be able to raise awareness or make change. ”

important to the labor involved

For Alex Cyrus, regional vice president of the Canadian Public Service Alliance, labor groups must put themselves at the center of the environmental movement. In his speech at Confederation Park, he warned the crowd against the greenwashing of unscrupulous corporations and privatized solutions to the climate crisis.

“As workers, we cannot leave our green future to the corporate class,” Cyrus said. “We need to move in a direction rooted in community, family and workers.”

He said it is important for labor advocates to remain involved in the struggle for the environmental transition to ensure that it includes unionized jobs and decent working conditions.

Workers’ organizational strength can support a just transition away from fossil fuels, Cyrus added.

“If you look at the great progressive changes in society throughout history, the labor movement should be right around the corner,” he said. “This should be a movement based on people and workers.”

A global climate strike was inspired by Greta Thunberg. Millions of people took part in the demonstrations around the world. Photo by Spencer Colby/ Canadian National Observer

You can’t vote, but you can speak

Kaia Thomas, a 17-year-old student at the University of Glebe, can’t vote yet, but she can make her voice heard by protesting in front of hundreds of people at the Capitol.

Not being able to vote in the federal election “really drove me to want to speak,” she said.

“I don’t think people realize how dire the situation is. hoping.”

Matteo Cimellaro / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National Observer

March to Capitol brings youth, workforce and Indigenous advocacy under the banner of climate action

Source link March to Capitol brings youth, workforce and Indigenous advocacy under the banner of climate action

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