Hundreds rally in Sackville demanding government action on climate change

Hundreds of climate strikers rally at Mt. A. before marching downtown to Bill Johnstone park

The academic quadrangle at Mount Allison University rang with chants today as hundreds of mainly young voices rose in unison: “What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now!”

As striking students waved placards with messages such as “If we love our planet, why are we wrecking it?” and “I want you to panic,” the voices rose again, chanting: “Water is life, Water is sacred, Stop the pipeline, Stop the hatred.”

The climate strikers then marched down York Street on their way to Bill Johnstone Memorial Park.

Climate strikers on York St. led in this photo by 10-year-old Eamonn Scott waving various signs including, “There Is No Planet B” and “End Capitalism” (click to enlarge)

Today’s march and rallies were organized by the Sackville Youth Climate Crisis Coalition (SYCCC) whose members include students from the town’s middle and high schools as well as its university. The Sackville climate strikers were joining millions of others from across Canada and around the world in a global protest.

Climate strikers listen to SYCCC demands on all three levels of government

After the strikers reached the park, Tess Cameron, a student at Tantramar Regional High School, read a series of Coalition demands that included federal legislation imposing a 65% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, reaching zero emissions by 2040; government rejection of all new fossil fuel extraction or transportation projects and the elimination of subsidies to fossil fuel companies.

TRHS student Tess Cameron reads SYCCC demands on all levels of government

The Coalition called on the New Brunswick government to stop resisting the federal carbon tax; to maintain a moratorium on fracking and to prevent resource industries from exploiting land and people for their own profit.

Finally, it reminded Town Council of its commitment to review its 10-year Sustainable Sackville plan and called for “clear and consistent communication” between the newly implemented municipal roundtable on climate change and the citizens of Sackville.

To read the entire list of demands from the Sackville Youth Climate Crisis Coalition, click here.

Roots of climate change

Climate strikers also heard from a series of speakers including Helen Yao, a second year Mt. A. student who spoke for Zero Hour, which she described as a youth-led global climate justice movement.

Mt. A. student Helen Yao spoke for the Zero Hour movement.

“We must address the real roots of climate change,” Yao said. “I am talking about patriarchy, racism, colonialism, capitalism and all the ways we have chosen to systematically exploit the land and the people.”

She listed a series of things that she said were not sustainable including waging overseas wars for resources and building economic systems that turn natural resources into commodities and that put private profit ahead of human wellbeing.

“Ignoring the part fossil fuel companies play in our political systems and our education systems is not sustainable,” Yao added.

Indigenous water protectors

The rally also heard from Rowan White, a first-year Mt. A. student who described herself as an indigenous water protector.

“We talk a lot about Greta Thunberg, but how many of you are aware of all of the indigenous water protectors serving around Canada and even speaking to the U.N.?” White asked.

Mt. A. student and indigenous water protector Rowan White addresses today’s rally

“If we’re going to take any sort of action to fix the climate, we need to start with the protectors of the land,” she said, adding that the federal government loves to talk about such things as reconciliation with indigenous peoples, while also building an oil pipeline through their sacred lands.

“I want to speak to Mt. A. specifically,” White continued. “Mt. A. loves to say it’s a liberal college that we value and include everyone,” she said, adding that the university’s routine acknowledgement that it occupies indigenous land means nothing without direct action.

“Anyone can say that they support their indigenous students, but putting all of your money into fossil fuels doesn’t match your words,” she said in an apparent reference to Divest MTA’s demand that the university drop its investments in the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies over the next four years.

“I challenge all of you to look up indigenous issues where you are and all over your country,” White told the rally, “because it’s your voices that will help ours to save our climate.”

Placard placed today beside the gazebo in Bill Johnstone park

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6 Responses to Hundreds rally in Sackville demanding government action on climate change

  1. Marguerite says:

    Weaponizing kids like this is child abuse. The level of brainwashing is astonishing.

    I now know what normal people must have felt like in 1930s Germany, watching it all happen, hoping that the insanity will go away, and realizing that it’s not.

    Wake up kids. Your teachers are lying to you.

  2. Rob Lyon says:

    I am disgusted by your response Marguerite. Your ignorance of the issue is regrettable and to suggest a comparison to 1930’s Germany is reprehensible. My kids are engaged young adults more than capable of thinking for themselves and developing ideas and thoughts based on educating themselves and being engaged in the world. I am thankful that the youth of today are into this world eyes wide open and not sticking their heads in the sand. They are the ones that will build a better future for this world in spite of your cynicism and unwillingness to believe what science and your own eyes are telling you.

  3. Sally Cunliffe says:

    Rob Lyon.. maybe you need to shut off the CBC propaganda and take a real look at what is going on in Canada with our youth .. its unhealthy for them to be suffering about climate change anguish.. its abusive .. I agree with Marguerite .. we are witnessing the rise of the Hitler Youth Worldwide. I recommend reading Dr. Tim Ball’s two books which I ordered from Coles Books in the Amherst Place Mall.. the only books you’ll likely to find in Sackville’s Tidewater Books are by technocrats like David Suzuki and Liz May .. biased to say the least for the UN Agenda 2030 climate propaganda crew .. and if you still think our youth are not being weaponized you are the one who needs to take your head out of the sand. Thanks to Marguerite for keeping it real.

    • Logan says:

      The same Tim Ball who went to court in a libel case with Andrew Weaver?!!?!??! Here is a quote from the Supreme Court Judge when the case was dismissed:

      “… despite Dr. Ball’s history as an academic and a scientist, the Article is rife with errors and inaccuracies, which suggests a lack of attention to detail on Dr. Ball’s part, if not an indifference to the truth.”

      When the case was thrown out of court Tim celebrated it as a win for free speech which is laughable seeing as the judge regarded his work as a joke. In fact the judge said that the case was being dismissed because “….Ball’s writing is not sufficiently credible to inflict damage on the reputation of a professional climate scientist.”

      The fact that both of you are calling the local youth Nazis because they are joining forces to enact some needed change is utterly reprehensible and inexcusable.

      • Sally Cunliffe says:

        Tim Ball.. yeah, that’s the man… get back in touch once you have read his books.. I’ll wait for your reply… however long that takes Logan.. the truth your ‘community organizers’ don’t want you to know.

    • Les Hicks says:

      Well Sally, the one positive thing I can say about your recent comments is that you’ve finally decided to use your real name instead of the ‘Tantramar Landholders Association’ label – can an association actually exist with just one member? It doesn’t seem to fit the dictionary definition.

      Otherwise, it’s just the same old hateful statements, that display your complete ignorance of the facts, that you have been spewing out in your previous comments that you have professed to be making out of love. For you and Marguerite to be calling young people ‘Hitler Youth’ because they are concerned about human caused climate change, which is recognized by the majority of peer reviewed climate scientists (at least those who aren’t funded by the fossil fuel industry), is truly, as Rob has already said, disgusting, as well as totally ridiculous. Shame on you.

      Also, your calling people who disagree with your opinions “ninnies” simply demonstrates how weak your position actually is. It brings to mind an old quote attributed to Socrates – “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” With that in mind, I won’t call you a loser or a right-wing-nut because that would bring the discourse down to your own level. Something for you to think about in future.

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