Scotty (PEI), Sarah (NS) and Daniel (NFLD) Youth Reps!
The Nova Scotia area, Antigonish to be exact, has been keeping things upbeat.
This past week at ST.FX University students held a Sustainability Week with lots of presentations, booths and activities for students and the townspeople of Antigonish to get out and be informed at and to learn about what are the growing concerns today and what we need to work towards to improve our environment.
Each day held a different topic, Development and Peace helped out with Tuesday March 22nd BOTTLED WATER FREE Day!!!
Getting the word out about our initiatives, what exactly we do as D&P and how we as a community can help to conserve water and stop using bottled water.
Here is just a quick glance of what the week entailed:
Monday, March 21 (Sustainability)
9:00 -11:00 am (Outside the library): Fair Trade Coffee & Sustainability Giveaways
5:00 – 6:00 pm (93.3 CFXU): Radio Ada
Tune in to “Radio Ada” at 93.3 CFXU THE FOX for a special talk on “Sustainability & Climate Change”.
7:00 – 9:00 pm A Panel Discussion: “Do Canada’s oil sands contribute to building a sustainable society”?
Tuesday, March 22 (Water)
March 22 is International Water Day, so the day’s events will be themed around good ol’ H2O.
12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch & Learn – “Local Water Issues” with the Antigonish Harbour Watershed Association (AHWA).
From 12-2pm: browse some displays from community and campus groups, DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE WILL BE ON SITE!
With a fair trade coffee/tea and lunch, before and after the Lunch & Learn
7:00 – 9:00 pm FILM – “Blue Gold: World Water Wars”:Hosted by StFX Chapter of Cinema Politica: This documentary examines environmental and political implications of the planet’s dwindling water supply and asserts that wars in the future will be fought over water. Blue Gold also highlights some success stories of water activists around the world, and makes a strong case for community action.
Wednesday, March 23 (Food):
12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch & Learn – “Local & Global Food Security” From 12-2pm: browse some displays from community and campus groups with a fair trade coffee/tea and lunch, before and after the Lunch & Learn!
7:00 – 9:00 pm FILM – “The Garden”
This is the story of the now demolished South Central Farm; a community garden and urban farm located in Los Angeles, California. It details the plight of the farmers who organized and worked on the farm. The owner of the lot decided he didn’t want to allow the farmers to use it anymore, and had the garden bulldozed.
Thursday, March 24 (Justice):
12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch & Learn – “Global Partnerships & Sustainability” With Wyanne Sandler, Breaking the Silence
From 12-2pm: Browse some displays from community and campus groups with a fair trade coffee/tea and lunch, before and after the Lunch & Learn!
7:00 pm (SUB Cafeteria) “Green Gig Coffee House” Off-Campus is hosting the Second Annual “Green Gig Coffee House,” where you can sip some java, listen to some LIVE Local Music, and have a wondrous time on a Thursday evening.
Saturday, March 26 (Earth Hour):
8:30-9:30 pm (Everywhere!) EARTH HOUR: Join St. Francis Xavier University and millions of people around the world in turning off your lights to demand action on climate change.
Another Update as D&P rolls on in the East Coast:
This Monday March 28th, a presentation will be given to a local high school in Antigonish in two grade 12 classes, Sarah Cavan, Danny Gillis and Ann Cooke will be presenting the role D&P plays in Canada and what youth/students/communities and people in general can do to help with our topic this year…WATER FOR ALL.
The first class is an IB Global Issues Class, the second class is a combination of 3 classes (there will be about 40ish in total) two global history classes and one global geography class. We want to give youth the opportunity to brainstorm and show them how much they can do to help D&P in the future, to show students it’s the little things such as not buying bottled water that can help, a little goes a long way!
Agenda for our talk is as follows:
Introduction and Consumer Perspective
The Journey of Bottled Water Group activity (adapted from a 2011 THINKfast activity)
Action (Change for the future) and Ideas/Questions
Keeping the word spreading is just what we are doing on the East; D&P is working hard to making things happen. Keep up the great work everyone!!!
March 10, 2011 actions are a collaboration between Development and Peace, Polaris, the Canadian Federation of Students, CUPE, and Sierra Youth Coalition.
By creatively planning events around the need to STOP the privatization of water, you can help build a community that recognizes the right to water. Let’s continue to create and support alternatives to bottled water!
*And this amazing website Tap That Water! Teens Against Privitization of Water: http://www.tapthatwater.org/about. They have embedded awesome videos and documentaries on the right to water, so you can watch them too!
* On facebook, the Canadian Catholic Student’s Association is doing a facebook blast – with this passage “Let justice flow like a river” Amos 5:24. Post it as your status over the next 24 hours!
* Participate in an activity sending a message to Cedar Springs, who are trying to take over our day for themselves. Click here to participate in the phone and email blitz.
* More resources on our campaign can be found throughout this blog, but here is the page with the print materials, skits and action ideas.Go Water Justice!
One way you know your advocacay and organizing is working – when companies try to flip your actions! For Bottled Water Free Day – where WE fight for water justice and pledge to tap back into the tap… some companies are taking advantage and giving away free bottled water.
There are over 120 events across the country taking place around ending the privatization of water for Bottled Water Free Day and industry is feeling the pressure. Bottled water company Cedar Springs and the Canadian Bottled Water Association are at it again with bottled water giveaways on Bottled Water Free Day. Last year we shut down their phone lines—but apparently they didn’t get our message!
Flood Cedar Springs Lines–Call today!
Flip the TAP to the bottled water industry! Bottled water company Cedar Springs and the Canadian Bottled Water Association are at it again with bottled water giveaways on Bottled Water Free Day 2010. Last year we shut down their phone lines—but apparently they didn’t get our message! Call Cedar Springs today and tell them you back the TAP! Call: (416) 798-7675
“On Canada’s Second Bottled Water Free Day I am working to kick the bottle and back the tap! The knockoff website that Cedar Springs has produced to promote giving away free bottled water is a desperate effort on behalf of your organization. It is clear that your company and all bottled water companies are feeling the heat as education and action around the negative environmental, health and social impacts of bottled water is growing! I choose NOT to drink bottled water”
Thanks for chipping in – all our efforts are working!
Genevieve Gallant for Development and Peace, part of Bottled Water Free Day 2011!
Word from the Nelson Youth Justice Rally – February 25, 26 & 27, 2011
The Nelson Youth Rally rocked, shocked, and stirred us all weekend, galvanizing everyone into agents of social action in Nelson and the wider world.
Little did I know what was waiting for me when I set out from Victoria on a snowy Thursday morning to begin the epic journey to Nelson through oceans, mountains, and a multitude of Dairy Queens. Smooth traveling is often preferred, but a total absence of friction on ice-covered roads is a step too far. My intrepid travel companion, Julia, and myself gritted our teeth and slid over the many passes (with names such as “Anarchist” to sooth the nerves!) before descending in ecstatic relief into the little mountain town of Nelson.
The arctic winds were still blowing when the busload (and extra van required en route for overspill) of high school students arrived at St Jo’s school, Nelson, late on Friday. The delays and looks of bus-induced fatigue showed that they suffered in the smae fate on the roads.
However, undeterred, the rally began and energy levels bounced back with the start of Penticton’s finest worship band leading us in high-energy, fist pumping, song and dance. We launched straight into the rally’s theme of “Water for all – Let justice flow!” with an improvised skit, ‘Out of Order’, that was as funny as it was disorganized.
Yet, there was no missing the obvious points made about our perceptions of bottled water – clean, attractive, and convenient – and the contrasting reality – unregulated, unsustainable, and exploitative. Armed with our shiny new re-useable aluminum water bottles, we all returned to our respective territories on classroom floors for a refreshing sleep.
The following morning, a volunteer awoke me by prying the table, which I had taken refuge under for the night, from my grasp. The shock was hers when she found me curled under it, but negotiations over its imminent use for breakfast convinced me to it let go. Semi awake, but well fed, we got organized for the day’s mission: a citywide bottle drive to raise money for the local food bank.
As we set off in our groups, it soon became apparent that serious endurance was required to deal with the pain of freezing extremities and avoid hypothermia in the -15 degree winds. But the effort was well worth it. People greeted us warmly, fully backed our campaign to go “back to the tap,” and heaped empty cans and bottles on our backs so that we ended up shuffling through the snow looking like Sherpas.
The result… over $550 raised for the food bank and 80 participants delighted to defrost and refuel once back indoors.
Later that afternoon we were transformed into little communities spread across lush fields and desert plains in order to simulate the challenges faced in the equitable distribution of water.
Poor families in “Desertia” ended up with high debts, illness, death and still faced water shortages, while others in “Watopia,” by virtue of their good fortune of being located amidst plenty of water, accumulated more wealth and water than they needed. Hearing the different families share their experiences afterwards brought home how complex it can be share equitably, even when everyone is doing their best.
The day ended with a closer look at what Development and Peace is – a member-led international development organization founded by the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops – and how it tries to address challenges, such as those we encountered in our simulation game, through fundraising and education in Canada in order to support partners in the Global South who promote alternatives to unfair social, political and economic structures.
We also heard some personal stories from the leaders about their journeys into social justice activity. Juilio even rocked the house with his freestyle rap!
Before heading back home, after an eventful and thought provoking weekend, we considered how we could bring the ideas and action experienced in Nelson back to our own communities, i.e. how to share the love?!
Without going into details, the journey home for poor Julia and I made the one to Nelson seem like a Sunday afternoon stroll on a sunny day. I am still thanking God that we survived! But on reflection, there is nothing I would rather risk my life for, than quality time with great friends, working to alleviate poverty any way, big or small, and the sense of fun and fullness that is still lasting today.
A BIG shout out to everyone there, all who organized it, and you for checking this out! Peace.
Great news!! Last night the City of London upheld its commitment to promoting public drinking water by rejecting pressure from the bottled water industry to eliminate its 2008 bottled water ban. Dozens of municipalities, universities, colleges and school boards across Canada have taken similar steps to provide accessible drinking water in facilities, promote the quality of municipal drinking water, and phase out the bottle.
On March 10th, they will be joined by thousands of individuals, institutions and organizations to celebrate the second annual Bottled Water Free Day. With the Canadian Federation of Students, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Sierra Youth Coalition, DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE and the Polaris Institute — Canada’s second Bottled Water Free Day is a day to take action to reject bottled water and reclaim public water.
The members of the Bottled Water Free Day coalition applaud the City of London for upholding its ban on bottled water and its pledge to promote access to publicly delivered tap water!
Beyond identifying the problem, FLOW also gives viewers a look at the people and institutions providing practical solutions to the water crisis and those developing new technologies, which are fast becoming blueprints for a successful global and economic turnaround.
In every corner of the globe, we are polluting, diverting, pumping, and wasting our limited supply of fresh water at an expediential level as population and technology grows. The rampant overdevelopment of agriculture, housing and industry increase the demands for fresh water well beyond the finite supply, resulting in the desertification of the earth.
Corporate giants force developing countries to privatize their water supply for profit. Wall Street investors target desalination and mass bulk water export schemes. Corrupt governments use water for economic and political gain. Military control of water emerges and a new geo-political map and power structure forms, setting the stage for world water wars.
We follow numerous worldwide examples of people fighting for their basic right to water, from court cases to violent revolutions to U.N. conventions to revised constitutions to local protests at grade schools. As Maude Barlow proclaims, “This is our revolution, this is our war”. A line is crossed as water becomes a commodity. Will we survive?
The Water Front is the story of an American city in crisis but it is not just about water. The story touches on the very essence of our democratic system and is an unnerving indication of what is in store for residents around the world facing their own water struggles. (53 minutes, 2007)
Bottled water: Safer and cleaner than tap water, easy on the environment…or maybe not. Look a little deeper and you’ll see that these claims don’t hold water. In fact, the very opposite is often true. The bottling and selling of water creates a culture where drinking water is viewed as a commodity or a private good, available only to those who can afford to pay.
In the Global South, sales of bottled water are on the rise. At the same time, water sources are increasingly being privatized. Bottled water should never be viewed as an alternative to safe, accessible public water systems.
By signing this pledge, I commit to supporting publicly owned and operated water systems. One of the ways I can do that is to choose tap water over bottled water, whenever possible.
I commit to working to create bottled water free zones in my home and in the public places where I spend my time. These include my university, school, parish, workplace and community. I will also support efforts to have bottled water replaced by tap water in all municipal and provincial public spaces where safe water is available.