Dec 4th People’s Assembly Callout

RSVP on Facebook: People’s Assembly on Climate Justice
For PDF of poster click here: People’s Assembly on Climate Justice
For Copy of Assembly Agenda click here: People’s Assembly Agenda

What: People’s Assembly on Climate Justice
When: Saturday, December 4th, 2010, 9:30am-5pm
Where: Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George St, SS2118
Cost: PWYC (breakfast and lunch included)

On June 23rd 2010, in advance of the G20, Toronto held its first People’s Assembly in community response to the climate crisis. Now on December 4th, 2010, activists, groups, community organizers and neighbourhood participants will gather for the second Toronto People’s Assembly on Climate Justice.

Faced with the illegitimate and false solutions promoted through the UN climate talks, La Via Campesina has called for the creation of a thousand Cancuns to counter the next round of negotiations in Mexico from Nov. 29th to Dec. 11th. For Dec. 4th, the Global Climate Campaign has initiated an international day of action, and the national call-out by the Council of Canadians to hold countrywide assemblies on the same day has been answered by communities across Canada. The second Assembly, as a manifestation of these calls to resistance, will serve as the launching point for a series of regular Assemblies in an effort to build a united movement for Climate Justice in Toronto.

The challenge of the climate crisis can only be met with a coordinated response that will bring forth our power in numbers. It also requires that we confront the root causes of the crisis and not just the symptoms. Through a horizontal people’s process, the Assembly will seek to create a space where we can work together to share experience, knowledge, and resources in order to build a local response to a global crisis. The Assembly hopes to work towards this objective through channels of collective dialogue and community empowerment.

Our goal is to generate new possibilities and new hopes in order to bridge the gap from separately operating groups, communities, and individuals, to converge into one diverse, united movement. We must equip ourselves with the tools we need to fulfill our potential as an effective Social and Climate Justice community.

The Toronto People’s Assembly on Climate Justice

TorontoPeoplesAssembly.wordpress.com
peoplesassembly.toronto@gmail.com
RSVP on Facebook: People’s Assembly on Climate Justice
647-869-6496

SPONSORS:

Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson, Council of Canadians, Environmental Justice Toronto, Greenpeace, KAIROS Toronto, Now Magazine, OPIRG-Toronto, Ryerson Student’s Union, Sweets from the Earth, Toronto Climate Campaign, Toronto Bolivia Solidarity, United Church of Canada, UTERN

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One Response to Dec 4th People’s Assembly Callout

  1. Participate or stop complaining,
    Preamble:
    Let’s make some assumptions if not concrete conclusions.
    The environment is in dire trouble – there is an alarming decline of social, economic, and political systems and values worldwide.
    Politicians, political parties, the media, etc are all under the control of special interest groups. Put another way – our representative democracy, our freedom of speech and access to information have been hijacked by big business, plutocrats, foreign interests, theological interests, and greedy self-interest individuals.
    From the Rio summit, we found that our concerns for the planet will be downplayed and ignored by those who control the media.
    From Copenhagen we found that governments and special interest influences will outweigh the needs of both the people and the planet.
    From other worldwide conferences we find little hope for a consensus on a meaningful course of action.
    We (the humble – the meek – the manipulated – the deceived – the uninformed) are on our own and we are running out of time.

    This narrative could go on endlessly about issues you see outside of the influentially controlled media, but I will not expand on what you already know.

    If the above is true then what can we do about it?
    Conclusion:
    There is only one arena where we all can do something even if our individual interests are radically diverse. The arena is currently disgustingly corrupt, unsavoury and unwelcoming – all aspects of it are controlled by less than 2% of our population. The important thing to note is that it is controlled by those who participate. This arena is known as democracy.

    Democracy and Media:
    Democracy:
    There are obviously problems with every democracy – including ours – In my humble opinion our Canadian democracy, and those derived as a legacy of British colonization, cannot (never ever) produce truly representative democracies. Utopia is summed up in this quote.
    Legislatures should be an exact portrait, in miniature, of the people at large, as it should think, feel, reason, and act like them.
    John Adams

    The remedy is hinted at in this entry from the Encyclopaedia Britannica:
    The case for Proportional Representation is fundamentally the same as that for representative democracy. Only if an assembly represents the full diversity of opinion within a nation can its decisions be regarded as the decisions of the nation itself.

    Conclusions
    Legislations can only mirror society if a true cross section of society participates in the democratic process.
    When participating, each individual must make it a point to correct the faults within democracy that he, or she, personally construes to be at fault. (not what I see).
    If 2% of our society controls us, then an additional 2% participation can dramatically alter every decision that is made, in each and every legislation worldwide.

    Media:
    The first casualty of war is the media. Although war was not officially declared on our democratic societies you can be assured we are at war for our planet’s environmental survival and our way of life by single minded, self serving, exploitive forces.
    Freedom of speech and access to knowledge and truth is a fundamental right of society but we have allowed it to be concentrated into the hands of a dozen wealthy authoritarian plutocrats and influential international and national corporations. Contrary to all common sense, they control and edit almost everything you see and read.

    Conclusions
    People will never react to anything if they are kept in the dark and fed a daily dose of nonsense (like our current CBC management’s agenda)
    We must make it a priority to expose this destructive media monopoly by expressing our displeasure and by actually participating in the democratic process.
    The monopoly held on information, truth and speech must be broken up.
    Democracy is the only arena we have to fight in.
    Participation is the only solution.
    Democracy is faulty and needs to be amended to suit the needs of its society and not just its elite and exploitive special interests. (it will always be a work in process)
    If you want a different result, participate in the process.
    We can continue on exactly as we are doing but, as we have been told, – you cannot keep doing the same thing and expect different results

    Part Two: Addressing the Environmental and Humanitarian Issues.
    There are some remarkable sites on the internet. I was quite taken with the format of Kajiji and others. Using this concept we concerned citizens could create a worldwide interactive community to address the two primary failings noted above. (I.E. make democracy truly representative and restore our freedom of speech to the initial concepts.)
    As we correct democracy’s failings we ultimately provide the venue to address the 100s of thousands of environmental and humanitarian issues that are overwhelming us.
    On our proposed interactive site, every concern could be given a heading (IE. Health, Human Rights, Fresh Water, Food, GMO’s, Population, The Seas, Space Pollution, etc) and under every concern the issues could be listed.

    Conclusions:
    Every NGO, Activist Group, Humanitarian Group etc could identify and list their priorities and objectives.
    Every individual could find like-minded NGOs and individuals in their own community, province, or country.
    People could share stories on the advantages gained through participation.
    People could find others to share the participation process. (as it can be initially intimidating)
    Note;
    NGOs are groups acting on your behalf and doing what you may have neither the time nor expertise to do – they need your financial help to be effective. (this is also participation)

    People can be drawn to causes in great numbers if they believe in them.
    Forces of evil, in particular, have always been able to rally support to a single cause. We have seen brown shirts, black shirts, banners of most every colour with symbols of crosses, stars and crescents, swords, swastikas, and sickles and hammers – ever the lowly leek stuck in a hat served to bring people together to a cause. We have heard chants and greetings – we have heard rally cries and experienced peer pressure to join and belong.

    Conclusions:
    We need to come together worldwide if we hope to be effective.
    To address the 100s of thousands of overwhelming and complex issues, we (the fragmented and frustrated) need to unite as a single force with a primary and clear single mission.
    Internet and other communication technology can be our ally.
    We are the first generation that can influence (in a positive manner) the welfare of humankind and the planet’s continued viability. We are possible the first generation that could and the last generation that can tackle this task.

    For this umbrella (big tent – world citizen – Civis Mundi – you name it) idea to work effectively, most individuals, environmentalists, humanitarians, scientists, NGO leaders, activist group leaders etc must feel comfortable with the concept, the mission and the mission statement

    Conclusions:
    We need a name,
    We need a mission statement that stresses participation in democracy – stresses the need to correct the blatant faults in democracy – stresses the essential need for freedom of information and speech.
    We need to provide the framework where environmentalists and humanitarian causes can be brought together to work together.
    We need to be seen as united nationally and internationally.
    We need to be visible.
    We need to be vocal.
    We need to recruit millions to our mission.
    We need a symbol to rally under.
    We need a single colour banner that identifies us as united in a single cause. (I like terra cotta for three reasons – it doesn’t appear to be used elsewhere, it means burnt earth and it is not English in origin.)
    We need every group (with a heart) to link to our site.
    We need every group to endorse us and to encourage their members to adopt our primary mission in addition to the goals they endorse independently.
    We need to allow every group and individual to support his or her mission without our guidance or interference.

    As a single individual, currently unaffiliated with any group (other than as a financial supporter) I can never hope to bring this idea to fruition. I hope that there are some who can see merit in these conclusions and explore the possibilities.

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