Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en Nation! A Sample Script and Contact Numbers to Protest RCMP Presence

The RCMP Police are invading the land of Wet’suwet’en nation and threatening to shoot
peaceful water protectors for working to preserve their way of life from pipelines. Please take a moment to call the numbers below. Feel free to use the script provided or write your own. Tip: if you have phone anxiety you can call after hours and leave a message. The messages are still collected and counted! Please 
circulate widely.

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I am calling to protest the RCMP on Wet’suwet’en nation land and their attempt to dismantle the Unistoten Camp. This is an alleged era of reconciliation following the BC Indigenous People’s Agreement through the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

It is not reconciliatory to invade people’s homelandand to force a pipeline that risks their both their land and water without their consent. It is, in fact, a continuation of direct colonial harm. You cannot allow RCMP to invade and state their readiness to shoot those who are peacefully protecting their land and way of life and claim that you are acting in accordance with a declaration of rights of a people.

We demand that you withdraw RCMPpresence on Wet’suwet’en land and the Unistoten Camp. We demand that you withdraw the pipeline proposal as you do not have consent from the people whose land it would invade.

I, and many others, hold firm in our solidaritywith the Wet’suwet’en people. We will not tolerate this treatment of their nation by the Canadian nation.

  1. BC Premier Horgan: 250-387-1715
  2. Deputy Attorney General’s Office: 250 356-0149 
  3. Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation: 250 356-1394
  4. Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources: 250 952-0483
  5. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy: 250 952-0483
  6. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource: 250-387-6240
  7. Department of Justice Canada: 604 666-2061
  8. Ministry of the Attorney General (responsible for the RCMP): 416 326-5000

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Practical Tips for Moving Toward a Zero Waste Household

From Recycling to Wastlessness: I have always recycled, always thought I was aware of my consumption. For a person living in high-waste settler states of Canada and the US, my garbage levels were not considered high. We already didn’t use plastic bags for fruits and vegetables. We brought our own bags to the store and stored our food in glass containers in the fridge. As I began learning from folks committed to 0 waste, my awareness of a just how much plastic I have used without thinking about it began to grow (the odd candy bar, a salad to go).  As I’ve learned more about Canada and the US offloading plastic recycling onto China, I have become more committed to cutting plastic out rather than recycling. Our biggest pile on the landfill was through groceries.  

A Plan With Our Reality: We absolutely need to challenge corporations and unbridled late capitalism but I do not believe that this takes the onus off of my responsibility as an individual. I do not want any part of the plastic a whale chokes on to come from me, I do not want a sea turtle harmed by my straws (note that I don’t need plastic straws to live, some people do, it’s okay). I have a few chronic illnesses and two complex foster-to-adopt children. Are lives aren’t simple or easy so I strive toward 0 waste without greatly increasing my labour. Below I outline some of the front loading we do so that we are able to  reduce the amount of times being busy and tired results in garbage and how we work with not being able to make multiple stops and the need for easy snacks. 

Family Buy-in: My kids needed a sense of being in on it together. We decided plastic was our top concern so we sat down and talked about how plastic is hurting the earth, water, and animals. We watched a video or two on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and talked about how we don’t want our groceries to add to hurting earth and animals. Together we:

  • Brainstormed 10 areas of our groceries where we use the most plastic and brainstormed ways we could get rid of or cut down on them.
  • We then named one thing that there isn’t a replacement for that would be a challenge for us personally, but that we were willing to give up.

We named the next steps the Team Zelda Plastic Reduction Plan. Zelda is our beloved pocket beagle. How is that for buy-in? 

The Team Zelda Plastic Reduction plan

We have reusable grocery bags packed with muti-sized jars and small cloth bags (for bread and bagels) packed in the trunk of the (electric) car so that we have them with us in case of having a spare minute to pick up groceries when we’re already out. 

Step 1: Packaged items to start buying in bulk 

  1. Beans
  2. Pasta
  3. Flour
  4. Bread
  5. Maple syrup, honey, sugar
  6. Nuts and nut butters
  7. Shampoo
  8. Baking soda (we use it for cleaning and in place of laundry soap)
  9. Tofu
  10. Protein powder

Step 2: Switching to different products

  1. Milk: I wrote to the Bellingham Community Food Coop and Fresh Breeze Organics and requested that they carry the organic, grass fed, local milk that comes in returnable bottles.
  2. Yogurt: We now buy local, organic yogurt in glass bottles that I save to store plant medicine that I grow and dry.
  3. Cereal: We were able to find delicious granola varieties in bulk at our local store but not cereal, so we switched.
  4. Toothpaste: A good toothpaste powder or toothpaste Bites come in bulk or in glass jars. We use these now.
  5. Snacks: We stopped buying individually wrapped fruit leathers and snack bars and now get bulk dried fruit and bulk fruit and nut clusters in mason jars.
  6. Q-tips: We got a set of reusable silicone q-tips that are easy to clean.
  7. Toothbrushes: We have bamboo brushes. Not 0 waste, but much less plastic!

Step 3: Being Prepared for On-the-go Times 

It’s not realistic for us to always eat and home. Sometimes appointments, errands, and fatigue are in the lead and we’re out and already hungry. Keeping a bag with the following items allows us to pick up faster meals without waste:

  1. Reusable straws
  2. Mason jars
  3. A pack of cutlery
  4. A few metal plates
  5. A couple glass take-out containers
  6. A couple reusable coffee cups with lids

We got ours at Earth Sider, but there are good products in many places.

Step 4: Giving up some plastic wrapped favourites 

I agreed to stop buying potato chips (a major comfort food for me) if I couldn’t find some with plastic-free packaging. The kids agreed to not buy plastic toys that are wrapped in plastic (e.g. packaged hot wheels) with their nominal allowances and to prioritize saving for one bigger thing instead of a lot of little things. For my wife it was individually wrapped chocolate bars. We buy less varieties of breads and buns and rarely get crackers because those don’t come in bulk where we shop. We eat way less nachos. But we eat well. Food is tasty and plentiful.

For us it also isn’t realistic to go to multiple stores for groceries so our choices are shaped in partnership with the Bellingham Community Food Coop. Many of my students reuse plastic bags and buy from the more affordable and different selections at Winco in the US or at Bulk Barn in Canada. Others I know prefer to stop at many places to get waste free food that exactly matches their tastes.

Step 5: Taking Stock

We’re not at 0 yet, but I estimate that we’ve cut down on our grocery waste by about 90%. I’ll survey my cart with food for my family of four for a week and the only waste will be plastic on a very large chunk of cheese and a paper carton for an ice cream treat.

I know, it’s not the revolution we need but this is how we are currently working to  live differently in this present moment while pushing for systemic change. Would you like support in moving toward 0 waste? Feel free to comment or send a message. 

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A Script to Demand an End to Logging Haida Gwaii (Please forward)

The courts have ruled against activists and land protectors seeking to stop logging on the culturally, archeologically, and environmentally critical remaining old growth forest on the Haidi Gwaii. I am writing with a plea for urgent actions. All you’ve got to do is forward the text of the letter below to the provided emails and/or call and leave a message (don’t worry, they never answer phones) using the text as a script. Please use your voice to show that these actions are not okay.

Dear __,

I am writing to express my outrage that the province is proceeding with logging the Haida Gwaii Island. This is inconsistent with the stated commitment to:

  1. Take the climate change emergency seriously.
  2. Engage in meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous nations.

The site holds some of the last remaining old growth forests in the region and is vital to carbon management and biodiversity. The site is also of sacred and archaeological significance to Indigenous people of the Haida Gwaii. To state a commitment to avoiding climate chaos and to reconciliation and then to continue to degrade our protections against climate change despite lack of Indigenous consent is both dangerous and hypocritical.

As a concerned constituent, I urge you to halt logging on Haida Gwaii. At the last election the people of BC voted for a system change when we prioritized NDP and Green Party coalitions. How do you expect to retain this support when you are blatantly going against the very commitments that led to your election?

Please overturn the decision to log this area. For the sake of respecting Indigenous nations, for the sake of having a livable future. Thank you for taking the time to reconsider these devastating actions.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Please send to:

• The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource
Minister Donaldson:
FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca
phone: 250-387-6240

• BC Premier Horgan :
premier@gov.bc.ca
250-387-1715

• Haida Gwaii Natural Resource District (DQC):
FrontCounterHaidaGwaii@gov.bc.ca
250 559-6200
Fax: 250 559-8342
Toll-free 1 800 663-7867

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Amplify #NoLNG, Call Inslee Today

Indigenous nations have walked 46 miles to protest LNG fracking on their land and to demand climate action. Please take a minute to leave a message with Governor Inslee in to amplify this intensive labour! Please call Governor Inslee today and share this call to action widely! From #NoLNG253: 

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Friends,

Indigenous Protectors of the Salish Sea remain in occupation at the St,Chas Nisqually village site, now known as the Olympia State Capitol building, and they say they will not leave until Governor Inslee is prepared to take action on their demands which include immediately declaring a climate emergency and putting a halt to all fossil fuel expansion projects in Washington state.

We have received word that Governor Inslee has returned to Washington after spending the week at the UN climate Summit in New York. Now is the time for us to amplify support of the Protectors and the demands to the Governor. Please call Governor Inslee today and tell him to meet with the Indigenous Leaders and meet their demands. Example words are below for guidance.

Please call Governor Inslee’s office TODAY at: 360-902-4111 (then press option 2 to get to a receptionist followed by 1 to leave a message).

Hello, My name is_____ and I am calling in support of Protectors of the Salish sea. Right now indigenous protectors and their allies are camped at Sta,chas, Nisqually village site, on the steps of the capitol building, after walking 46 miles from the site of PSE’s fracked gas facility being built on Puyallup land in Tacoma to demand Governor Jay Inslee declare a climate emergency.

I am calling to ask that our governor, a known leader in facing climate change, meet with the indigenous leaders immediately and sincerely listen to their demands.

These demands are that Gov. Inslee declare a climate emergency in Washington state, that he issue an executive order to stop fossil fuel expansion projects in the state ⁠— including the liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility being built at the Port of Tacoma, that he convene a special legislative session on climate change in 2020, and that he honor the treaties by meeting these demands.

Please tell Governor Inslee I support these demands and that I ask him to meet with indigenous leaders and protectors today. Thank you.

#ProtectorsOfTheSalishSea #WalkToProtectAndRestoreTheSalishSea#HonorTheTreaties #NoLNG253 #NoKalamaMethanol #ClimateStrike#ProtectWhatYouLove

30 Days for Climate Justice Day 30: We Will Not Be Silenced (A love letter to earth protectors)

 

 

We will not be silenced

 

We see dwindling orca families

And know

it’s past time to act

While they overturn

Protections.

 

Forests are burning

and we have trouble taking in

the air we need

While they overturn

Protections

 

They Sneak pipelines 

On scared ground

Children go without water for

profit. 

 

The weight of this sits heavy

stone laden arms

we try to raise

our fists

And we will not be silenced. 

 

We flood their phones take

To the streets

Put plants in the ground

and lift up

Earth protectors already

Turning these tides.

 

We act 

And push though

We never know if

It will be enough.

But we know we will not be silenced. 

 

We pour of ourselves

to protect this ground

not because

They are listening

But because

There is power

In not being silenced. 

 

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30 Days for Climate Justice Day 29: My Climate Change Resistance Checklist (Weekly Review 6)

Taking action has a ripple effect. The more I develop a practice of everyday climate justice work, the more I meet other people who are doing everything they can, the more I understand ways of resisting, and these ways of resisting become increasingly possible. This is powerful stuff! 

1. Go to and Facilitate Meetings: I went to the second Climate Strike Planning meeting. At the meeting I was able to advocate for having one of our three action items be that the City of Bellingham hold a commitment to respect the sovereignty, self-determination, and treaty rights of Lummi and Nooksack nations. This would include commitments to be a strong presence against developments that would threaten traditional ways of life and sustenance: e.g. pipelines, coal train expansion.

2. Get into Gardens: I took my kids to harvest squash, tomatoes, basil, green beans, zucchini, and kale from the Birchwood Food Desert Fighters Community Garden. A 69181089_10156745127584205_8065543914364338176_ofriend and co-volunteer has been making Food Share boxes and putting them up around the neighborhood (do you know, that you can just do this, too?) so we stuffed a few with these local goodies. This included talking to neighbors as they passed. An elder with disabilities talked about how she misses gardening but doesn’t have room or enough light in her building. Next season, I’d like to organize a shuttle to get more folks able to be in and grow food with the BFDF Garden. It’s really not fair to have your grocery store closed and also not have a way to get your hands in the dirt and grow your food!

3. Make Donations: I made a donation to Amazon Watch to support Indigenous nations who are working to protect their homes and the lungs of the earth.

4. Agitate Politicians: This week I made calls, wrote letters, and circulated contact information and templates to agitate politicians to step in with the amazon forest fires and to protect the Endangered Species Act. Calling is getting easier the more I do it!

5. Ban Bee Killing Pesticides: I had a great meeting with Jason Davidson and Friends of the Earth and now have a solid action plan for getting the use neonicotinoids and glyphosites banned on Bellingham public land. I highly recommend following the link and using these resources for accomplishing the same within your city.

6. Support Indigenous Events: I will be volunteering at Neste Mot: One Mind for Xw’ullemy (The Salish Sea). I’m not sure what jobs I’ll do yet but will just jump in where needed as the date approaches.

7. The Unist’ot’en Food Drive: Many folks who donated food got sizes that were too small for an industrial sized kitchen. My family wrote down the quantity, kept the smaller sizes for our pantry, and then picked up the equivalents (and then some) in large sizes from Costco. I passed them off to an earth protector who is going to drive up to Unist’ot’en soon. Another summer project that will be wrapped up before my teaching term starts!

8. Create Networks: I’ve been working to bring the Queer Ecojustice Project together with the WWU Queering Research Project, a joint endeavor between the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and LGBTQ+ Western. The goal is to bring the question of  climate change to the forefront in how we think about creating and circulating knowledge. I’ve also been working to combine the expertise of Dean Jackson, the Director of Hilltop Urban Gardens, with WWU coursework, the Office of Sustainability food security organizing, and the Whatcom Health Authority Food Summit. There are powerful movements that we can all learn from and we can learn in ways that leads to building strong communities.

9. Get to Know Plants and Trees: This past week I spent two nights on Lopez Island, one night with each of the kids. The first kid and I were able to go out kayaking and spend time at Shark Reef Sanctuary where over 100 seals were hanging out. One played and fished really close to us for a long time. So amazing! The second kid had horrible nightmares and many triggers being out in the woods so the trip was more about supporting her to get to know the earth as a safe and loving place. Very hard, but also important.

10. Utilize the power of Words: Three more posts and only one more to go in this series. It has been strengthening to make sure that I take action every day (and write about it every few days). I will shortly be turning my writing attention back to lecture slides and lesson plans.

The checklist is based on my skills, passions, and capacities. What are your skills and capacity? What ignites your love, anger, and passion for change? Can you make a commitment to regular action? 

30 Days for Climate Justice Day 28: Solidifying a Bee Protection Action Plan (and How You Can Too)

Motion: to ban neonicitinoids and glyphosites on public land and parks in the City of Bellingham. 

At the beginning of summer I began to look into what it would take to get neocicotinoids and glyphosates banned in Whatcom County and to reach out to likeminded folks who might want to join me in this work. The work has included research into local laws and policies as well as guidelines from groups that have been successful in these endeavors. I am clarifying my project for a doable starting place. Bellingham is having an election this year so I am making this a year long project toward the motion above.

This is the plan:

  • Attend the October 5 candidate debate meeting in Bellingham and find out which candidates will verbally agree to support the motion.
  • After the election submit a proposal written in legalese with the support of Jason Davidson at Friends of the Earth (FOE).
  • Find allies for the project that are part of 350 Bellingham, the Climate Strike.
  • Join the committee to have my workplace, WWU, become a certified bee campus.

After some frustrating attempts to garner support for the project, I had a really wonderful meeting with Jason Davidson at FOE. He is the Food and Agriculture Associate at FOE and supporter of the Bee Action Campaign. He has offered support at every step of the process to set up bee protected areas at made it clear that this support is part of the mandate of his job and purpose of the organization. I appreciate being able to consult with someone who has gone through the process and have official proposal letter drafts to amend rather than having to draw up each piece from scratch!

This project will remain on my schedule over the upcoming teaching year but the plan feels like a manageable one. It is my hope that other folks will also take this up in their cities, counties, and states. Can you find a few like minded people? Can you work with FOE and present a proposal to your city council? We cannot survive without bees and, if you are in the US, it’s up to us to make this happen in localized pockets because it’s not happening on a federal level! 

Please let me know if you have questions about joining a movement in Bellingham or starting one elsewhere. 

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#savethebees #givebeesachance #noclimateapathy #climateactionnow #climatejustice #togetherwearestrong