NEWSLETTER No. 27: Solidarity Dots and Melbourne's Idea
I think for international days of action like ISTSDay, Climate Impacts Day or Occupy it is important to do that one thing to brings it all together. Yes, we are demanding an end to the tar sands and extreme energy but I am talking about a common act or activity. There is something about knowing people all around the world are doing the same thing as you on that very same day that leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling:)
This year is going to be different from previous years since we are coordinating with two other networks/movements - 350.org and the Freedom Train . I would like to see solidarity acts for both. I am open to suggestions for what we do for the latter (Mary from Winnipeg has suggested water ceremonies). For Climate Impacts Day, I am recommending organizers and participants do something with a dot.
Vague eh? Well, the up side to this vagueness is it allows for many possibilities. In fact 350.org has provided a fantastic list on all the different ways you can make and use a dot on May 5th. Click here for the list.
Still too vague? At the end of this edition of the newsletter is a description on what we are trying to do with our two meter tall climate dot here in Melbourne on May 5th as an example.
Whatever your act or activity of solidarity is it would be great to get photos of it to reinforce that warm fuzzy feeling I was talking about before. We are still sorting out who is going to upload ISTSDay pics to the website and you will know shortly who to send your photos too (when in doubt, just send them to me). It would also be great if you could send the photos to 350.org. Click here for instructions .
Push Europe has released a brilliant toolkit on how to bring ISTSDay and Climate Impacts Day together in one event on May 5th. I suggest everyone takes a look at it even if you are outside of Europe because they really did a fantastic job of explaining simply how the two Days can be represented in the same event. There is something SOOO stereotypical about the youth explaining to us just how simple something like this can be. I think the EU Fuel Quality Directive is in good hands.
We are looking good in Canada, USA, Europe and even here in Melbourne. Climate Impacts Day is looking good all over the world. The Yinka Dene Alliance's Freedom Train looks like it is going to be a moment for the Canadian history books.
MELBOURNE - CONNECTING THE EXTREME ENERGY DOTS
Credit for the idea has to be given to Cheree (Australian organizer), Joel (Melbourne 2011 organizer) and Bronwyn (Melbourne co-organizer). The idea is to travel through the city of Melbourne with one massive (ok, maybe 2 meters is not massive, but it is still big!) dot stopping at all the banks, & energy companies that are driving tar sands extraction in Canada and the coal seam gas (similar to shale gas) industry in Australia.
We do not just want to talk about the problems though. Much like a coin our dot has two different sides to it. On one side we want to paint a large spiral representing the craziness of extreme energy like tar sands and CSG. The other side, a beautiful mural of the earth. One side is clearly the problem and the other side is perhaps in an indirect way the solution.
The same will apply to our tour through the city. We will highlight the problems but we also want to talk about the solutions. This would entail stopping at the state parliament (healthy democracy = healthy environment), community gardens, transition town projects, local markets, city bike rental depos, etc.
It is actually going to be more of a film than an action. Do not get me wrong, by rolling around a giant dot through the busiest parts of the city we will definitely get people's attention and we plan on raising awareness on the day. Ideally though, we want to create a short film that could be used by just about anyone as an example of the problems of and solutions to extreme energy and also an example of how to create an action or event by being creative, staying positive and having fun.
What will happen to the dot in the end? Well, you will just have to watch the film to find out!
For more info, contact Cheree @ stoptarsands[at]riseup.net
NEWSLETTER No. 26: An ISTSDay Idea from Portugal