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Powershift conference builds climate justice

Jesse McLaren

March 27, 2014

On March 28-31, hundreds of youth will join the Powershift Atlantic conference in Halifax/K'jipuktuk, Mi'kmaqi Territory, to build the climate justice movement. Since Powershift BC, in October 2013, there have been many developments.
On the one hand, there is more proof of climate chaos--from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines to the ice storm in Ontario and recent "weather bomb" in Halifax--and another IPCC report on the dangers of climate change. Corporations are continuing their assault on the planet--from LNG plans and the Kinder-Morgan on the west coast, to fracking and Energy East pipelines in Quebec and the east coast--and government "regulation" is rubber stamping these project, from the Northern Gateway to Line 9 pipelines.
But there has also been increasing resistance and solidarity: the Elsipogtog blockade against fracking, the Solidarity Accord against the Northern Gateway pipeline, the growing campaign for fossil fuel diverstment, a march against Line 9, direct action against the Keystone XL, a rally against coal port expansion, "defend our climate" actions across the country, a Neil Young concert raising legal defense funds for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, and a MI'kmaq warrior speaking tour.
As the Powershift organizers explain, "In this pivotal time, we have also seen a resurgence of the climate justice movement. We've felt the emergence and growth of resistance to the tar sands, fracking and pipelines, led by First Nations across Canada. We've watched the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline grow in the United States, and a global movement taking on fracking take off. Unions and workers are demanding green jobs and frontline communities are mobilizing against projects that threaten the land and water that effect their daily realities. There  is a growing movement standing up against the fossil fuel industry and demanding a safe and just climate future...Coming on the heels of the Quebec Student and Idle No More Movements, the time has come to embolden the growing movement for a just and sustainable future. PowerShift Atlantic will bring hundreds of youth to Halifax to spark new momentum for climate and economic justice."
Join a report-back from Powershift, April 1 at 7pm at OISE in Toronto, and launch of the new climate justice pamphlet "System change not climate change."

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