Earth Heroes on Parliament Hill

Just got back from cheering on 100 or so people getting arrested for protesting the Harper government’s pro-oil anti-earth policies, preceded by powerful speeches by elders and youngsters demanding justice and respect for the earth. I salute their courage and wisdom. They are trying to save all our asses.

Among the many memorable speakers was Tantoo Cardinal, who spoke movingly about her childhood in Fort McMurray before it was a toxic boom town. She then went on to describe how – as many of us know – the Iroquian Confederacy was used as one of the sources of the American Constitution but…

“the part they left out was about how the women picked the leaders. And how the children were put in the middle with the women sitting in a circle around them and the men stood outside the circle, protecting what mattered most.”

Whereas today it is the men in the middle of the circle facing outward with oily hands balled into fists, daring any woman or child to speak for the future, or for the earth, or for each other. Well, today a few brave souls spoke with their bodies, climbing the barricades surrounding the House of Commons (not, as Bridget dePape pointed out, the “House of Corporations”) to demand justice, only to be welcomed into the bristling circle of heavily armed RCMP officers, who despatched them to their legal fate.

Soon – all too soon – we will all change. The only question is whether we will choose to change while there is still time to build a sustainable future, or whether changes will be forced upon us by this earth, whose injuries are our own. If we wish to see children in the centre of our circle and not petrochemical stockholders, we must all start taking action today. Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Northern Gateway Pipeline!

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