Tag Archives: take action

The March

We are never too old to take action!
Over 100,000 marched over this bridge in downtown Vancouver. Millions marched across the world.

“The March!”

Friday, Tom and I marched for Planet Earth in Vancouver, B.C. Never before have I taken part in a protest. This time I had to participate. Our climate is in crisis. Denial means death.

Joining the protest wasn’t easy. A cold wind swirled around us on our uphill walk and half hour wait for the bus. People poured past us as we limped down two flights of steps to the sky train. We let two trains go by. They were beyond full. We wedged ourselves into the third train, with Tom barely clearing the door. Only two stops, and we joined the sea of humanity flowing up the escalators to the exit turnstiles. We plodded along like worker ants towards city hall. There were speeches we couldn’t hear. A protest band played.

We waited, restless, until the crowd began to flow down onto the street towards the bridge. We walked. We chanted. We talked with young, middle aged and seniors. All of them worried, fearful of the future, determined to make a difference.

Our march was typically Canadian – full of passion, but governed by good will and good manners. My eyes filled with tears as I listened to young people crying out for change, demanding that our government take action. I was proud.

Our youth are giving us leadership. We have to keep the pressure on. My message to all of you, my readers is: God has given us an amazing world. It’s our job to care for it. We must do everything we can as individuals. We need to vote for leaders who will co-operate with one another, even step over party lines. OUR VOTE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

People of all faiths need to PRAY. Pray for our planet. Pray that God will keep us motivated. Pray that we will let go of selfishness and support efforts to save the world even though it will cost.

Pray that our leaders, both governmental and business, will have the courage to make policy and pass laws that will stop this climate change.

We need to SPEAK OUT. A sixteen-year-old girl has mobilized the world. Our own Canadian activist seventeen-year-old, Autumn Peltier is teaching the world that everyone has the right to clean safe water. She’s been nominated for the 2019 International Children’s Peace Prize. These two young women have already proven the power of one individual to make a difference. We can follow in their footsteps.

Three Simple Steps

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In early May, like many people I reflected on the disastrous collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh. I listened as the news media and individuals brought pressure on Canadian companies involved in the disaster, to provide compensation for the families affected and to ensure that workers across Bangladesh had a safe working environment. Gradually, other more pressing issues drew my thoughts away.

June 19th, the CBC Six o’clock news did a follow up report on the disaster. Neither, family compensation or safer working conditions had yet to happen.

How do we ensure these changes actually take place?

Now, it’s July. The pressure is off. The worship of profit – the almighty dollar –  can surge forward. We need to keep up the pressure. Our letters and emails demanding change so easily produced in May, are essential in July if we want more than rhetoric to happen.

To be truly effective we need to follow these three simple steps:

  1. Set up a reminder on your calendar or your computer, so that once each month you will send a letter/email to companies like Loblaws informing them that you are waiting to hear news reports that changes are in place before you will once again buy their product. Once you’ve sent one letter the major work is done. You have the address and the person to contact in your file.
  2. Continue to avoid those labels that were named as companies involved in that sweat shop factory.
  3. Pray. Include those workers in your daily prayers.

Five minutes of your time each month will keep the pressure on those giant companies. Five minutes of your time will place you in solidarity with the poor of Bangladesh. You’re worth that five minutes and so are your neighbors in Bangladesh.

Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Matthew 22:39)