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Hundreds rally in Halifax in defense of our climate

by Robert Devet

Group photo after the rally.  Many had already left at that time.  Photo Robert Devet
Rising sea levels will flood much of the Halifax waterfront.  Photo Robert Devet
Elder Billy Lewis, "it's time to get angry." Photo Robert Devet
Catherine Abreu of the Ecology Action Centre, "We don't want a future where we frack the last remaining fossil fuel resources out of the ground and pollute communities."  Photo Robert Devet
Most creative sign.  A rug-hooked gift for Amy Sock.  Photo Robert Devet
Most creative costume.  Photo Robert Devet
Largest costume.  Photo Robert Devet
Most musical contribution,  Photo Robert Devet
The crowd, roughly 500 strong at that time, leaves the Farmers Market and sets off for Parade Square.  Photo Robert Devet
The new high water mark on Lower Water Street.  Photo Robert Devet
Professor Tom Duck, Dalhousie University. "Canadians know that our weather is changing." Photo Robert Devet
Amy Sock, Elsipogtog. "You had many things to do, but you chose to come here to show your appreciation for the earth." Photo Robert Devet

K'JIPUKTUK, HALIFAX - Hundreds of Haligonians took to the street this Saturday to show their opposition to fracking, pipelines, tar sands and other ill-advised initiatives that contribute to runaway climate change.

The rally, which started at the Farmers Market and wound its way to Parade Square, was one of many like it in Canada. Similar events took place in at least 130 communities from coast to coast.

Drummers, people in costume, families with children, dogs, and many creative and colourful signs all contributed to a festive atmosphere.

A kayak was carried along to remind onlookers that rising sea levels will cause the Halifax Waterfront to be flooded by the end of the century. A blue stripe was painted on the sidewalk along Lower Water Street to demarcate that new high water mark.

Speakers at the rally emphasized that slowing down climate change is extremely urgent. Elder Billy Lewis talked about the need to get really angry.

"We can't wait any longer. If your house is on fire you don't whisper, you yell", said Lewis. "They're not listening now, and they're not going to listen unless a hell of a lot of us stand up. Here we stand. We're not going anywhere. We really have to become indignant."

Catherine Abreu, energy coordinator with the Ecology Action Centre, urged the new government to continue to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency in Nova Scotia.

Tom Duck, physics professor at Dalhousie, spoke about the reality of climate change. This summer's floods in Calgary, Toronto and Winipeg are clear evidence that the climate is changing, Duck said

The final speaker was Amy Sock, a member of Elsipogtog First Nation, who was arrested by RCMP earlier in October and had the bruises to show for it.

"I was arrested," said Sock. "You may have seen my photo, all bruised up, that's me."

"And as awful as it was for me that day, if it would happen again I would do it again in a second. "And I don't think I would have the courage if it wasn't for the allies. After 500 years, we the Mi'kmaq in Elsipogtog, a small little indian reserve, have brought together our neighbours."

"Together we sing, we pray, we hope for the same thing, we have allies."

A map on the website of the Canada-wide organizing coalition indicates that in Nova Scotia rallies also took place in Yarmouth, Bridgewater, Truro, Antigonish and Sydney.

 

Follow Robert Devet @DevetRobert

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Topics: Environment
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