Jobs, Justice, Climate Action – Calgary Stampede Parade

The morning of July 3, 2015, marked the kick off for Stampede here in Calgary, which was the perfect opportunity for some direct action in front of Canada’s politicians.

Rachel Notley

Both Notley (above) and Nenshi rode in the parade, while Trudeau and Harper  were watching from the sidelines.  We can only hope they were listening.

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CBC crew deliberately turn away from the parade and the climate action banner to focus on the children.

Apparently the issue of Climate Change is not considered newsworthy.  I could hardly believe as watched as the CBC camera crew deliberately turn away from the banner which read:  “HARPER,  TRUDEAU,  MULCAIR.   CALGARY WANTS:  JOBS.  JUSTICE.  CLIMATE ACTION.”  to focus instead on the smiling faces of the children in the crowd.

CBC news ignores climate protest in Calgary  3-7-15 ( aiyana lauridsen )

The Bow Building – Head Office of EnCana –  towers in the background.  In the foreground, mainstream media ignores a Climate Action Banner to focus on the smiling children in the crowd.  Calgary Stampede Parade, 2015.

A group of activists entered the parade during a gap between floats, and walked their banner down the block before Calgary Police escorted the group from the route.

A peaceful action in solidarity with so many others across the country and across the world. JOBS. JUSTICE. CLIMATE ACTION will march July 5, 2015, in Toronto.

While I was taking photographs I briefly chatted with the young boy beside me, who was deeply concerned about the police presence.  I overheard him say to his mother “I don’t trust the police… look at all their guns.” and then he reiterated his concerns to his grandmother.  “I don’t trust the police.”

I asked if I could take his photo and he wanted to make sure I got a photo with his sister as well – he struck me as a highly empathetic little boy.  It broke my heart to see someone so young already so fearful.  Despite his worries, the CPS were nice enough as they escorted the group off the parade route.  Still, these are the children who will have to clean up the mess of today’s politicians – and they are already concerned about the status quo.



The Bow   3-7-15 ( c. aiyana lauridsen )

The Bow Building in Calgary, Alberta – Head office of EnCana

We have a simple message:   WE > TAR SANDS.

We > Tar Sands in Calgary

HARPER, TRUDEAU, MULCAIR:    CALGARY WANTS:

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Aiyana Lauridsen - Jobs Justice Climate Action

*Photos by Aiyana Lauridsen & Tavis Ford

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Calgary Climate Action

On April 26, 2015, a march was held in Calgary, in solidarity with other demonstrations being held across the country (and around the world) as people come together to demonstrate the need to “Act on Climate” leading up to the UN Climate Summit in Paris (set for December, 2015).

Calgary Climate Action

In the foreground Canadian citizens are gathered with green signs declaring “CHANGE DIRECTION NOW”  and “INVEST [in solar]” -in the background, the Bow building (EnCana’s head office) is reflected off of City Hall.

As Louis Koutis (CCAN) explained, it wasn’t a protest but rather a march to show support for a transition to clean renewable energy.  The day began with a gathering at City Hall and speakers discussing climate change, the future, and our responsibility to act now.   The crowd marched from City Hall to Eau Claire Market, where they finished the afternoon with music and discussions about a greener future.

Hundreds of people, young and old, marched the streets of Calgary.  Their chants of “THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE”  rang off the buildings downtown.  Some people spoke afterwards of joining simply because they saw the group marching though the streets – while others had planned the event for weeks before the day.

Canada has become an international embarrassment under the Harper Government due to their complete failure to act on anything related to climate change.  Canadians across the country are demanding change – from the 25,000 people who marched in Quebec – to protests in Vancouver and cities in between from coast to coast – including Calgary, a city home to industry elites and the head offices of corporations such as TransCanada, Shell, Husky,and EnCana (to name a few).

It was an amazing day in Calgary – the weather was perfect and the mood was hopeful.  Many people joined together to make a strong presence.  Please feel free to share this post on social media and tag your friends if you see a familiar face!

I have been working on editing a video and had hoped to post it all together, but the video is taking too long, so I wanted to at least share some photos.   Hopefully I will be able to share a video soon.

photos by Aiyana Lauridsen – available for non-commercial use only

To collaborate email: aiyanalauridsen@gmail.com

CLIMATE ACTION NOW – Calgary

JOIN US TODAY – ACT ON CLIMATE 

MEET AT:  CITY HALL, CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA
APRIL 26 -2015 AT 1:30p.m.

DETAILS BELOW

 photos by Aiyana Lauridsen  * APRIL 11-2015 *
Photos from April 26-2015 will be posted soon.

On April 11, 2015, (photos above) Calgarian’s gathered in support of the 25,000 thousand who marched in Quebec City.  Standing in solidarity with all the people marching across major cities all over Canada – thousands of people telling their government to Act on Climate.

Climate marches across the world are growing in both frequency and numbers as we lead up to the United Nation’s  Climate Change Conference, set to be held in Paris this December.  As more and more people begin to understand the undeniable realities of climate change, more and more people feel compelled to be the voice of change themselves; more and more people are choosing to BE THE CHANGE.

In Calgary, a small group gathered April 11, 2015, to show solidarity with the other concerned citizens demonstrating across the country, and to organize the Calgary Climate March, which was held today, April 26, 2015.

*UPDATE*  Today in Calgary, the streets rang with chants of “THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE” and “CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW” as hundreds marched in the streets.

 The current Premier of Alberta – Jim Prentice – didn’t bother to go to Quebec, or to even send a representative to attend the Premier’s Climate Change Summit – which began April 14, 2015.  Apparently Climate is not a priority vote our government – but it should be.  The Conservative government that has ruled Alberta for so long (since 1971) has mismanaged this province to the point of disaster – it is time for a change and Albertan’s know it – the world knows it.

Alberta Votes:  MAY 5 – 2015  #VoteABC (Anything But Conservative).


VIA Calgary Climate Action Now – Facebook Page

Gather at City Hall, 800 Macleod Trail SE, 1:30 pm
Photo-ops, 1:45 pm

March to Eau Claire Plaza, off of 2nd St. and 2nd Ave. SW, 2:00 pm

Music, dancing and opportunities to talk about “What Next”, 3:00 to 4:00 pm

It’s time for Calgarians to join the international chorus demanding that local, provincial, national, and international leaders, along with citizens everywhere, take steps urgently needed to protect our planet from the effects of climate change!

On April 26, hundreds of Calgarians will gather to show that we want a just transition to a clean-energy future:
• a transition that supports marginalized communities, including indigenous peoples
• a transition that phases out coal, oil and natural gas as quickly as possible
• a transition that develops clean, renewable energy and puts Alberta on the map as a world leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions
• a transition that begins with CLIMATE ACTION NOW

Major international climate negotiations will be held in Paris this December. Canada has a crucial choice: we can be a leader on the path to a meaningful agreement, or we can continue to be an obstacle to progress.

On April 26 we will demand a strong deal in Paris.

We need your help to make this happen. Will you join us?
• Please spread the word: bring your family, friends, classmates, team mates, the folks in your yoga class, the people in your office.
• Add your organization’s name to the list of sponsors for this April 26 event.
• Have your organization join the Calgary Climate Action Network (CCAN).

Together we will get climate action now!

Continue reading

THE TAR SANDS (VIDEOS via NDRC )

“We have to get after the Regulators… it’s the government that’s allowing them to kill our fish, kill our animals, and kill our people.”


NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)   http://www.nrdc.org

NRDC is the nation’s most effective environmental action organization. NRDC uses law, science, and the support of 1.4 million members and online activists to protect the planet’s wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things. NRDC’s website provides a wealth of environmental information as well as state-of-the-art online activism tools.

Energy East pipeline: Our risk, their reward

Say no to the Energy East pipeline by signing the petition HERE.


TransCanada Corporation has proposed the Energy East pipeline to create and expand a network of old and new pipelines stretching over 4,600 kilometres from southern Alberta to New Brunswick. It is the biggest oil pipeline proposal in Canada and it could be coming to your backyard.

Ontario Nature has joined other grassroots groups across Ontario in expressing deep concern over TransCanada Corporation’s proposal to export tar sands oil by converting natural gas pipelines through northern and eastern Ontario.

LEARN MORE  CHECK OUT ONTARIO NATURE.ORG Originally Published on Dec 2, 2014 – Republished with permission.


See more of our coverage on TransCanada here, here and here.

Finally, you absolutely must check out SAVE-CANADA for brilliant activist info.

EXPERT LEGAL ADVICE: “stop being a nuisance and settle with Encana – they have all the money in the world”

This is SO important.  I have personally looked into this man’s eyes (Glenn Solomon, the lawyer speaking on the recording) after he successfully argued in Court that the Regulator (AER formerly ERCB) should not be responsible for the FACT that the water in Rosebud became so polluted that it could be set on fire – this is apparently a matter to be settled between Ernst and EnCana privately – it’s not Alberta’s problem.  He could barely look at me (or the many other people there to support Jessica) as he rushed out of the building – it will not be the last time I look into his eyes searching for accountability, as I continue to follow the Ernst v. Encana case.

This conversation was recorded by an Albertan looking for a lawyer to handle their case and provide legal advice after their water was contaminated by hydraulic fracking. (Much like Jessica Ernst’s water – the case being discussed – or our families water, or Debbie Signers water, or the Campbells, or countless other affected Albertan’s)   Brett* recorded the conversation with Solomon so his mother, Ann Craft, could make an informed decision of which lawyer she wanted to take on their case; he said he was surprised Mr. Solomon “would be so bold about how the law works in favour of oil companies in Alberta or Canada.” ( See full coverage on The Tyee – Ann Craft’s Fracking Nightmare: Part 1 and Part 2) Transcripts below.

Glenn Solomon discusses EnCana, Alberta and the ERCB

Alberta Lawyer Glenn Solomon discusses EnCana, the ERCB  & the Ernst Case with a Landowner.  

Solomon discusses how EnCana will always PAY to make landowner’s lawsuits go away, as long as they never have to ADMIT responsibility. “They just don’t care.” He also mentions how the legal teams for the ERCB, the AER and EnCana have managed to stall in Court for 7 YEARS without having to file a Statement of Defence, (normally in Alberta the Statement of Defence is due after 20 DAYS) and that NO case about fracking having contaminated water in Canada, has ever made it to Trial, since they usually end in a settlement (typically settlements include non-disclosure agreements).

Note also that this is one of the “most respected” lawyers in Calgary speaking.  What is most unfortunate is he’s 100% speaking the truth and doesn’t seem to see what’s wrong with the picture.  It’s not about balance sheets or bottom lines or money – it’s about WATER.  You know, good old H20 – the stuff that makes the earth blue?  We humans are about 70% water – and ALL LIFE on earth relies upon water.

Glenn Solomon discusses EnCana, Alberta and the ERCB 2

If you listened to the recording, maybe you wonder why Solomon is aspeaking as though EnCana and the ERCB and the AER are all one party? …or maybe at this point it’s become glaringly obvious.

Jessica Ernst isn’t suing for MONEY – she’s suing because she’s demanding ACCOUNTABILITY…and this is who she’s up against.

Apparently hoping for accountability from this government this makes her “literally crazy”.

So are we starting to understand the problem with our system yet?

People need to know what they’re up against in Alberta.  Corporate adjudge and government

FRAC FREE ALBERTA

*Ann Craft’s son Brett requested use of an alias last name, O’Neil, in order to protect family relatives working in Alberta.

Idle No More + Silence into Action || December 10, 2014

TransCanada

Indigenous women on the front-lines outside of the TransCanada head office in Calgary, Alberta.  

 A 12 hour prayer vigil was held December 10, 2014, on the 2 year anniversary of Idle No More, and in solidarity with the Earth Guardians movement, Silence into Action.

Solidarity with Itzcuauhtli Roske-Martinez on a world-wide silence strike on December 10, 2014.  Standing in front of TransCanada’s office in Calgary, Alberta #silenttobeheard #silenceintoaction

 The women – guardians of the water and strong warriors – sang songs, beat their drums and spoke with a TransCanada representative who came to receive our message.  We presented our signed Invitations to TransCanada – asking them to reconsider their pipeline plans for the sake of future generations.  We felt the power of our presence was strong, though we were few in numbers.  We sat for 12 hours on the sidewalk in front of their offices on a cold December day, and the message did not fall on deaf ears – they saw us, they heard us – I don’t know if they listened, or if they took our words to heart, but I am hopeful.

Aiyana Jane Lauridsen

We hung prayer bags in four colors (one for each of the elements – earth, air, fire and water) on trees in  four directions surrounding the TransCanada building in Calgary. I was honored to hang blue bags representing the water on the trees. I feel so strongly connected as a guardian of the water, I am eternally grateful that these women honored me with this task and recognized my connection. 

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 Although we were informed by one angry employee that we should “grow up – there are children starving in Africa” – having only ONE person say something negative to us at an “anti-oil protest” in Calgary (it was a prayer vigil) has got to be a new record, so I’ll take it.  (Perhaps said employee did not realize that there are children starving right here in Canada, or that humans can survive much longer without food than we can without fresh water, or that the company she works for is directly responsible for driving climate change.)

Sometimes all it takes to tip the balance is ONE person, so if we changed just one mind, that would be enough.  Other times, you gotta call it a loss when people are so set in their ways that they literally believe starving children in Africa is the be-all-end-all of our collective problems – who really cares about clean energy?  What about those poor starving African kids??  WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!

Indigenous mother wraps her daughter in a blanket to fight the cold .  Calgary, AB

A mother and her 11 year old daughter on the steps of TransCanada’s Calgary Head Office – on Treaty 7 Land.

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  Land Defenders camped out on Burnaby Mountain for months to stop Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline in British Colombia.  [Click the photo for Burnaby Mountain Updates.]

TransCanada / Calgary Police

Plain-clothes Calgary Police Officers (left) speak with activists (right) outside of TransCanada’s Calgary head office.  This photo was taken a few hours after we presented our invitations to TransCanada’s representative.  You may notice the same two men are standing in the background of the photos above –  based on the timing, I assume the Officers watched the exchange between the two parties, spoke with TransCanada representatives, then came down and spoke with us afterwards; however, I’m not sure.  I only noticed the plain clothes officers had been there earlier in the day when I looked back on the photos later on.  They were very courteous to us and discussed what we were here doing and how they personally felt about pipelines – as well as our right to maintain a peaceful protest.

#silenceintoaction

A passerby takes a green bracelet to show solidarity. Intention is the strongest force we humans have; the power of our intention when harnessed is not to be underestimated – together we can create change.

Glasha Weaselfat, Age 11Glasha WeasleFat, age 11, sits in solidarity with the Earth Guardians, Itzcuauhtli 

Listen to the voice of the new generation –    SILENCE INTO ACTION.