[getsmart-l] Reclaim Earth Day 2008

Janet May janet at smartgrowth.on.ca
Wed Apr 16 15:12:10 EDT 2008



Reclaim Earth Day 2008


"What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This
is the defining moment."
-- Rajendra <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajendra_K._Pachauri>  K.
Pachauri, IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), 2007

 <http://www.torontoclimatecampaign.org/node/8> Reclaim Earth Day 2008


12 noon: Rally at Yonge-Dundas <http://www.ydsquare.ca/>  Square - Toronto

On April 22, 1970, the environmental movement burst onto the political stage
with one of the largest grassroots demonstrations ever seen. Let's put the
activism back into Earth Day with a rally to call on the Harper
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_harper>  government to implement Kyoto
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Protocol> , introduce mandatory emission
reductions and support green energy.

Musical Performance - The New Kings <http://www.myspace.com/newkings> 
Glenn MacIntosh - Toronto Climate <http://www.torontoclimatecampaign.org/>
Campaign (TCC), ecoSanity.org <http://ecosanity.org/> 
Host: Sandy Hudson - President Elect, University of Toronto
<http://www.utsu.ca/>  Students Union (UTSU)
Adam Vaughan - City Councillor, <http://www.adamvaughan.ca/>
Trinity-Spadina, Ward 20
John Cartwright - President, Toronto and York Region
<http://www.labourcouncil.ca/>  Labour Council
Javier Davila - No One Is Illegal <http://toronto.nooneisillegal.org/> 
Paula Sherman - Professor of Indigenous Studies, Trent U; Co-Chief, Ardoch
Algonquin First Nation; Chris Reid, Lawyer
Musical Performance - Aboriginal Unity Singers
Eduardo Sousa - Regional Organizer, Ontario-Quebec-Nunavut, Council
<http://www.canadians.org/>  of Canadians
Dave Martin - Climate and Energy Campaign Coordinator, Greenpeace Canada
Sandy Hudson - President Elect, University of Toronto Students Union
<http://www.utsu.ca/>  (UTSU)
Musical Performances - The New Kings <http://www.myspace.com/newkings> ,
Samba Elegua <http://www.sambaelegua.com/join.html> 

1 pm: U-Turn Parade

The parade route goes from Yonge-Dundas Square <http://www.ydsquare.ca/>
(Toronto) to Queen and Spadina where we will do a U-turn back to Queen and
John Street. Bring your banners, placards, and noisemakers to show the
Harper <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_harper>  government that we
want an about-face on climate <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change>
change policy.

2-4 pm: Street Festival (Queen and John Street)

Join Streets are <http://www.streetsareforpeople.org/blog/>  for People for
a festive, interactive, all-ages celebration of Earth Day!

>From Streets are for People <http://www.streetsareforpeople.org/blog/> :
Invitation to Cultural Revolution

For two hours, John St. from Queen to Richmond will be a space without cars,
a space where culture can once again breathe life into the city. 

We're asking performers of all kinds to come out and engage the citizenry
with works compelling, interactive or both. The theme is U-Turn on Climate
Change and reconnecting to the part of us that is the Earth.

No tables. No stages. No power. And everything is at street level.

So far there will be a Punch and Judy puppet show (theatre available to
share), a performance by the Rebel Clown Army <http://www.clownarmy.org/> ,
and many forms of interactive art and games by Streets
<http://www.streetsareforpeople.org/blog/>  are for People. Any musicians
who attend will share in a big open jam at the end of the fest. There's no
registration or schedule. It's open concept - the glorious chaos of life.

Please come and breathe a little of the Earth back into the heart of our
concrete city.

For more info visit: www.streetsareforpeople.org/blog/

* * * * *


In April, 1970, the environmental movement burst onto the political stage
with one of the largest grassroots demonstrations ever seen. Between 20 and
25 million people, mostly in the United States, answered the call on the
first Earth Day. Event organizers were shocked at the response and marveled
at the crowd that drew from every constituency: students and seniors; inner
cities and small towns; faith groups and hippies.

The success of Earth Day shook the Nixon
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Nixon>  White House and, over the next
year, Nixon <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Nixon>  spearheaded a
series of environmental reforms: creating the Environmental Protection
Agency <http://www.epa.gov/>  (EPA); regulating fuel efficiency and emission
controls in automobiles; enacting laws protecting endangered species and
habitats; signing the Clean Water
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_water_act>  Act; and more. No government
before or since has equaled that environmental record and it was the fear of
a rising movement that forced Nixon
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Nixon>  to act.

The Canadian government also reacted to the pressure from below for
environmental action by forming a new federal Ministry
<http://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=FD9B0E51-1>  of the Environment
(Environment Canada) in 1971, pulling together various aspects of
environmental policy that had previously been under the jurisdiction of a
number of disparate ministries. This was followed by the development of
environmental laws governing national parks, land use, wildlife and water.

Over the years, corporations began to fund and sponsor Earth Day events,
some out of sincere interest, more out of desire to buy "green" credentials.
This shifted the emphasis from public rallying to put pressure on
politicians and policy makers, to predominantly innocuous and symbolic
events. Large scale, interconnected mobilizations were out. Decentralized
photo-ops were in. The unfortunate result was, most activists began to
ignore Earth Day.

Help Us To Reclaim It!

Today we are faced with unprecedented environmental crises on one hand, and
hypocrisy and inaction on the other. The time is NOW to reclaim the spirit
of the ORIGINAL EARTH DAY, to pool our best ideas and give voice to our
finest thinkers.

It is NOT the time to eliminate the position of National Science Advisor
html> , muzzle scientists in the Ministry of the Environment (Environment
Canada) <http://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=FD9B0E51-1> , overrule
the Canadian <http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/>  Nuclear Safety
Commission and fire its president
<http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/01/16/keen-firing.html> , or downplay
the warnings of eminent global scientists about climate change
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change>  as the Harper
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_harper>  government has done. Mr.
Harper <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_harper>  has reneged on
Canada's commitment to meet Kyoto
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Protocol>  targets, obstructed progress
at the United Nations Climate Change <http://unfccc.int/2860.php>
Conference in Bali, Indonesia, and is failing the people of Canada and the

Having staged the Toronto contingent of the D8: Global Day of
<http://www.torontoclimatecampaign.org/d8rally2007>  Action this past
December, the largest D8 <http://www.torontoclimatecampaign.org/d8rally2007>
climate rally in Canada (more than 2500 participants and extensive
non-corporate sponsorship and support), we want another big turnout at
Reclaim Earth Day: U-Turn on Climate Change!

An opening performance by The <http://www.myspace.com/newkings>  New Kings
and a featured performance by the Aboriginal Unity Singers are scheduled to
headline a rally of approximately 8 speakers beginning at 12 noon at
Yonge-Dundas Square <http://www.ydsquare.ca/> , to be followed by a
family-friendly parade west across Queen Street. At Spadina, we hope to
arrange an officer-assisted U-turn in the intersection around a ceremonial
tree carried from the rally (among other creative and colourful flourishes
of activity), then return to John St. where Streets
<http://www.streetsareforpeople.org/blog/>  are for People will, as they did
last year, stage a fun, interactive Street Festival.

Anyone who wishes to help us build and organize this day of action is
welcome to participate <http://www.torontoclimatecampaign.org/getinvolved> .
We meet most Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. at the Steel Hall, 25 Cecil Street. We
are also in need of sponsors
<http://www.torontoclimatecampaign.org/sponsorshipandedorsements>  who can
contribute funds or services in kind, such as printing, and we invite you to
promote the event by e-mail.

Finally, if you support our cause but cannot provide a monetary or other
contribution, your official endorsement
<http://www.torontoclimatecampaign.org/sponsorshipandedorsements>  of our
event would be very appreciated -- all sponsors
<http://www.torontoclimatecampaign.org/sponsorshipandedorsements>  and
endorsements will be acknowledged on our website here
<http://www.torontoclimatecampaign.org/sponsorshipandedorsements> .

Please join our efforts <http://www.torontoclimatecampaign.org/getinvolved>
to voice the need for urgent, aggressive action to cut greenhouse gas
emissions in Canada, to encourage ever more stringent binding emission
reductions targets, and to celebrate, defend and preserve a livable world
for our children and all life.

C 2008 - Toronto Climate Campaign. All rights reserved. 




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