March for Jobs, Justice, and the Climate

On July 5th, I attended the “March for Jobs, Justice, and the Climate” in downtown Toronto.

It was my first time attending a march/organized protest.

I receive emails from Oxfam Canada, an organization whose aim is to “build lasting solutions to poverty and injustice with a focus on improving the lives and promoting the rights of women and girls.” When they sent out an email inviting me to join the march, I thought, why not? Climate change, poverty, and inequality are subjects that I am concerned about (and have been for a long time), and now I had the chance to join thousands of others in speaking out about these issues.

We started at Queen’s Park.

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The event had several high-profile climate change activists/environmentalists in attendance, including David Suzuki, Naomi Klein, and Jane Fonda. There was a speakers’ stage at Queen’s Park, and the event was covered by many major media outlets.

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Here is the Oxfam group.

Click on any photo for a (much) larger image ! !

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So what made this march different from many others?

As far as I know, this was the first march in Canada where environmental activists were joined by a wide range of other groups, such as health workers, faith groups, farmers, anti-poverty groups (i.e. Oxfam), First Nations, migrant groups, and large unions.

….Why did they all join this march? What was the real message behind the march?

What was the common cause?

The call was for an economy that is rooted in social justice, provides good jobs, and protects the environment.

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As Avi Lewis (activist and husband of Naomi Klein) put it: “Once you realize that the economic system itself is driving the climate crisis – an economic system we know is creating vast inequality around the world –

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– and everybody knows since 2008 needs transformation – all of a sudden you’ve got this great lens of a climate crisis to show us the insanity of where this economic model is taking us.

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And it intersects with every conceivable issue.

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We have this common cause.”

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Here are some of the marchers reflected in the glass windows of a building we passed:

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In total, more than 10 000 people marched ! ! !

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We ended the march at Allan Gardens.

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My favourite sign of the day is the one you can see on the far right, saying “There is No Planet B.”

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This one is a close second 🙂

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My award for best political jab goes to…

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Followed closely by:

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I would like to send a special shout-out to Food Not Bombs for providing EVERYONE with delicious FREE FOOD after the march ! ! ! Thank you so much Food Not Bombs! (I was really hungry…!!!)

…on the more serious side, several large placards were placed in Allan Gardens to remind us all about the very immediate and devastating effects of climate change.

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Click on any photo for a much larger image (where you will actually be able to read the text on the photo!)

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….it is up to all of us to speak out! Even if it’s just who you vote for. The October election is coming – make sure you vote for the party who cares about climate change and its link to the economy and jobs!

Stay tuned!

Credits:

Oxfam quote: http://www.oxfam.ca/about

Avi Lewis quote and general information about the march: NOW magazine (print edition), July 9-15, 2015.

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