Radio — Laying groundwork for resisting tar sands pipelines in Quebec


On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, climate justice organizers Aurore Fauret and Lily Schwarzbaum talk about “La marche des Peuples pour la Terre Mère,” a month-long walk across Quebec that connected urban radicals with activists in communities under threat from proposed tar sands pipelines.

As the resistance on the west coast intensifies to the various dangerous efforts to export the climate-destroying hydrocarbons from the Alberta tar sands, so various pathways to export them eastwards have grown in importance. And as a consequence, resistance is heating up in the east as well. Back in May and June, one of the first major mobilizations of both francophone and anglophone youth in Quebec against the tar sands took place. On one level, “La marche des Peuples pour la Terre Mère” was a powerfully symbolic action, as people walked for 34 days along proposed and actual pipeline routes stretching 700 kms across the province. More fundamentally, however, the walk was a crucial exercise in laying groundwork. Along every step of the way, relationships, consciousness, and skills were built — not just among the upwards of 350 people who marched for at least one of the 34 days, but with and among the many more who participated in events and activities in each of the many communities the march passed through. City-based climate justice organizers and people in front line communities shared stories and skills and got to know one another. Veterans of the massive 2012 student strike and those who live on the land through which bitumen might be piped began to talk, to learn from each other. As the pipeline process advances in Quebec and the need for climate justice resistance instensifies, this will likely be a potent combination. Fauret and Schwarzbaum are climate justice organizers who were heavily involved in the walk, and they tell me about how it came to be, what they did along the way, and what they forsee in the future.

To learn more the walk, click here.

Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada. We give you the chance to hear many different people that are facing many different struggles talk about what they do, why they do it, and how they do it, in the belief that such listening is a crucial step in strengthening all of our efforts to change the world. To learn more about the show in general, visit the recently revamped website here. You can learn about suggesting topics for future shows here.

Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.

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