Chantier Politique

March 14, 2019

English Edition, No. 3

March 15

All Out Mobilization for Student Strike Against Climate Change! Join In!


Montreal
Friday, March 15
Gather at 1:00 pm
Georges-Étienne Cartier Monument, Mont-Royal Park
Organized by the Planet Invites Itself to University
Facebook

On Friday, March 15, students from Quebec universities, Cégeps and high schools are holding a student strike for the climate, as part of the action organized by the campaign "The Planet Invites Itself to University."[1] They have been discussing for several weeks and are meeting in general assemblies to ensure the day's success. The Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal, École de technologie supérieure, Concordia University, McGill University, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Université Laval, Université du Québec à Sherbrooke, Dawson College, Collège Montmorency, Collège Lionel-Groulx, Cégep de Saint-Laurent, Collège de Montréal and many others are involved. The action is part of the global Youth Strike 4 Climate taking place the same day. As of March 10, the campaign Fridays For Future informs that 957 schools in 82 countries, including 27 in Canada, will be participating.

Quebec students have received the support of their teachers and professors. The group Profs for the Planet, formed in mid-February, launched a petition amongst their peers supporting the strike and collected nearly 1,000 signatures in a little over 48 hours and 3,300 as of March 5.

Students argue that urgent action to stop climate change must be taken and feel that collective action is key.

"Although individual actions are crucial, they cannot, in and of themselves, end climate change and remove the threat to the environment. It is imperative that collective and institutional decisions be taken to deal with the gravity of the situation. While the student population has undertaken a costly education both in terms of money and time, within precarious conditions accentuated by indebtedness, unpaid internships and a culture of competitive performance, climate change increasingly threatens the future they are fighting for." By having everyone join in, we can turn things around, they say.

Students are vigorously affirming that the natural and social environment are inextricably linked.

"The human species is part of a natural system in equilibrium, the Earth, the only place in the universe we know of that has been able to generate and sustain life. Human beings depend upon and interact with other elements within that system. Yet, the modern trend is to externalize environmental, social and economic impacts while hoping for a green transition paid for by the people already bearing the brunt of the current system. Climate justice and social justice are interrelated," they write.

Students believe that governments and businesses are undertaking actions, such as with their fossil fuel projects, that are incompatible with the natural and social environment.

"Such projects are not only in direct contradiction with the fight against global warming, they also damage the health of our ecosystem. The Gazoduq/Énergie Saguenay gas pipeline route and the marine export route threaten a vast territory that is home to endangered species such as the woodland caribou and the St. Lawrence beluga whale. The LNG Quebec proposal also endangers three watersheds and three Indigenous ancestral territories, namely Nitakinan Anishinabe, Nitaskinan Atikamekw and Nitassinan Innu, while the Gaspé project threatens Mi'kmaq ancestral territory. These projects, as well as many others in Canada, are part of a neo-colonial power dynamic advocated by our governments."

That's why students will be in action on March 15 and again on September 27, just before the federal election, where they intend to put the issue of the natural and social environment on the agenda.

Chantier politique strongly supports this action by the youth and students. They are energetically and scientifically involving themselves in an act of conscious participation to bring about a world that can guarantee them a future that is fit for human beings.

All Out In Support of the March 15 Climate Strike!
Join In !

Note

1. The demands of the Planet Invites Itself to University campaign are:

1. That it is up to governments to establish an ecology education and climate awareness program, in partnership with young citizens;

2. That it is up to governments to adopt a climate law which, assisted by a reduction in growth, would force the attainment of the targets recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The IPCC is calling for a 50 per cent reduction in CO2 net emissions by 2030, zero CO2 net emissions by 2050, and a 50 per cent reduction in methane emissions by 2050;

3. Greater investment transparency from educational institutions, withdrawal from fossil fuel investments and the holding of an institutional carbon footprint assessment to target the largest sources of GHG emissions with a view to reducing them.

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