Speech by Andrea Loken at the Kingston Climate Rally

Here is a video from the CKWS News covering the Rally: http://www.ckwstv.com/2015/11/30/ckws-tv-news-3/

And here is the speech I gave at the rally…

We know what we have to do

80% of our know reserves of fossil fuels have to stay in the ground.

We need to get to 100 % clean energy by 2050. This is non-negotiable. It isn’t “let’s try”… Not “if it fits the economic plan of the Government.”

And the great news is… We have all the knowledge and technology to do it. It comes down to political will.

#1 Reconciliation with First Nations

We need to understand that we can’t do this without First Nations. That doesn’t mean, let’s get them on-board. NO! First Nations have been showing us the way. They have been at the forefront of the struggles to protect mother Earth!

WE need to get behind THEM. Their struggles must be OUR struggles. How is it remotely fair that First Nations do not receive the same amount of funding for education as the rest of us? How is it remotely fair that in countless communities, they do not have safe water to drink?

We care when there is an attack on Paris, but there is an attack on First Nations’ communities every single day since we arrived on this land.

If we don’t recognize this, it is a continued attack on First Nations and we are all weakened. We are hurting those who are defending the air, the water, the land.

There is no nation, Canada, until we deal with Reconciliation. Find out everything you can. Find out what the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are. Demand our political leaders implement these recommendations.

If we don’t, the solutions will be FALSE solutions. They will be executed by corporations in the same imperialist way: with NO REGARD for People or the Earth – grabbing land, violating rights of indigenous people, removing forests for solar panels and biofuels. If we do it the capitalist, imperialist way, we will fail.

#2 A New Economic Model

MP Mark Gerretsen, MPP Sophie Kiwala, Mayor Brian Paterson, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna:

Don’t give us any BS. We want action! Don’t wait. Don’t say, “But the economy!” Because we know that means, “But the corporations.”

If the ECONOMY is the problem, then we need to CHANGE THE RULES! Because the laws of the universe and LIFE kind of trump this game of capitalism that we pretend is real. It isn’t real. PEOPLE are real. The PLANET is real. The AIR we breathe is real. Put PEOPLE first.

We need local solutions. And the solutions are all around us: community gardens, reducing consumption, designing walkable/bikeable cities, rejecting corporate solutions.

(And by the way, the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is written by corporations, designed to keep us from real solutions, to take power away from local governments to come up with real solutions. And it’s same for the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Goals – written by and for corporations.)

#3 Unions Are Part of the Solution

Organized labour has always been at the forefront of social justice and human rights issues. Climate Change is the mother of those issues.

Unions are beginning to understand that they have a big role to play in climate solutions. If you are in a union, start thinking about how your union can get behind this. Start planning grassroots pressure to mobilize. Unions bring people together and are able to do it quickly. We NEED them in this struggle.

100% Possible

We don’t realize how much power we have. We are waking up. People, We Are It! No government is going to save us. No Prince in shining armour. We must save ourselves! And when we realise it. When we realize the power of our declarations in solidarity, we will transform the Earth into something completely new and beautiful.

Resist hate. Choose only love. “Love as self defense,” says spoken word poet Shane Koyczan. And I conclude with his words from his poem “Shoulders”:

“Our strength will come from finding a way to share and shouldering the responsibility of turning the impossible into somehow… somehow we will do this. We CAN do this. We can dismiss apathy. We can reject uncertainty. We can be the new chapter in our story.”

WE DECIDE.

100% – Reject uncertainty!

Possible – We CAN do this!

Together we’re unstoppable. A better world is possible!

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