Raven Trust Fundraiser Hosted by a 10 Year Old for His Birthday. Can you support?

My 10 year old has had a lot to grapple with in his life. Over the past year and a half I have seen him take his anger over injustices and turn it into activist fire. The other day he was planning to call reps to urge for better conditions for farmworkers during Covid. As he planned his script, I could feel him buzzing with excitement. When I commented on his energy he came back with, “I just can’t wait to really DO something!”

Part of my Covid home learning has become helping him to learn activist skills and strategies. He comes to me with problems hoping I’ll have tools that will equip him to do something about them. He’ll hear about another proposed pipeline or orcas in trouble and, rather than curling into fear, has begun to approach me with, “what are people doing to change it?”

He has chosen to go by the name ActivistBoBay for his public activism work and has started a list serve about his social and climate justice work. You can join it by sending an email to: activistbobay@gmail.com

This week he turned 10! When he heard that birthday fundraisers were something people do, things got serious. That he could fundraise for Community to Community, Navajo and Hopi Covid Relief, Pacific Northwest Protects, or Raven Trust the overwhelm over the choice facing him almost became a point of genuine distress (at one point his new Harry Potter Wand just may have been involved in the process). In the end, he chose Raven Trust because he has previously supported Wet’suwet’en work against the Coastal GasLink pipeline (through food drives and speaking at a documentary screening) and wanted to keep that support going. He decided that he will draw a picture of “activist magic” to mail to each person who supports his fundraiser. 

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Here is a bit of information about the fundraiser in ActivistBoBay’s own words:
“Hello Friends! I have just turned 10! For my birthday, I am conducting a fundraiser for Raven Trust. https://raventrust.com/donate/

1. What the organization does:
It helps Indigenous people with legal justice so there can be a “thriving natural habitat.”
2. Why this is important:
So that all people can have environmental justice including Indigenous nations.
3. How your donation will help:
It will help to protect “wild and sacred spaces” from pipelines, tankers, tar sands, and mines.
4. Gifts for Donators:
If you donate to Raven Trust, please send me your address, and I will draw you a picture of ActivistBoBay Magic!”

Please leave a comment here or on the FB event if you are able to donate and he will be in touch about getting you the artwork. Thank you for supporting Indigenous sovereignty, climate justice, and children’s activism! 

Information to File a Police Complaint: Youth Water Protectors Held in Victoria Jail Without Representation

The BC government is still not respecting Wet’suwet’en sovereignty. Having had ‘consultations’ about invading their territory with pipelines, the Hereditary Chiefs gave a clear “no” as the pipeline could destroy their ecosystems from the water upon which their community depends to pristine forests with medicine and food. The Chiefs provided an alternate route that would not destroy their pristine territory but the BC government has continued to act without consent and proceed with the project. 

And across the continent and even overseas, people are rising up, showing BC and Canada that continued colonial invasion is not okay.  Rallies in the streets, vigils at Canadian consulates worldwide,  blockades, prayer walks. People are doing what they can to show that the destruction of ecosystems and disrespect of Indigenous nations must end. We are watching and are in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en people!

Indigenous youth have been reclaiming the parliament steps in BC the rests on land stolen from their ancestors. They are peacefully letting this settler government know that we can’t have business as usual while violence against Indigenous nations and the earth continues. We teeter on a tipping point for climate collapse. From time immemorial, Wet’suwet’en people been stewards of their land and their sovereignty and expertise must be respected. 

You may be joining these rallies, you may be bringing supplies up to Unist’ot’en Camp, you may be organizing screenings. That’s all wonderful! You may also have fatigue that makes it hard to sit up. You may be working 3 jobs and money still falls short for feeding your kids. Capacities are different. That’s okay. Please do whatever you can to let Victoria Police and BC government know that we will hold them accountable. Below is a step-by-step guide, phone script, and sample report content with links to submit a police report demanding that youth are not held without representation. After that, I have included a sample script with phone numbers to keep agitating the government. Please use them in their entirety or take pieces and change what you like. Please share widely! 

Submitting a Vitoria PD Complaint:

I called the VicPD at 250-995-7654 and then pressed 1. I simply stated, “I am calling to express my deep concern that youth arrested on March 4th being held without representation. This is not legal. Their families and communities are really worrying and larger public is watching and urging you to begin a fair process.”  They told me the police “are getting these complaints” (great work, folks!) and that they are preparing a response to the complaints. Not good enough! I want a response to the human rights infringements. 

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The next step is to file a formal police complaint (we need hundreds of folks to do this!). Here is the link to the online complaint form. It starts with name, address, and phone number and then details. Here is a template with details for the form:

  • Where did the event happen: Youth were arrested at Parliament.
  • When did the incident happen: March 4, 2020
  • Time it occurred: 9:10pm
  • Name of Police Department: Victoria
  • What is the Complain about: “Youth are still being held without legal representation. This is unacceptable as legal representation is a human right under the law. Their families need to be able to access them and they need legal council. When I called the Victoria PD they said that the police have a plan to respond to the complaints. I was, however, calling to ensure they have a plan to act in accordance with the law through how they are treating the youth. It is imperative that fair legal representation and fast response to the families is granted immediately. What is the plan for this?”
  • You then just write your name and click that you have signed it and hit submit. Let’s keep each other safe!

Calling the BC Government to demand they halt destruction of Wet’suwet’en land:

The BC Premier and Ministry of the Attorney General (responsible for RCMP Police) need to know that we will not tolerate the ways their process continues violence. Here is a sample script:

“I am calling to urge you to call off the RCMP presence on Wet’suwet’en land and to halt construction of the pipelines. We are dismayed that you, as the Primier, have not been open to an alternate route claiming that permits have already been issued. They have not been issued in good faith or the spirit of reconciliation as you did not have the consent of the nation whose land you are invading. We cannot continue to vote for you with this utter disregard for Indigenous leadership and a future healthy climate.”

1. BC Premier Horgan
premier@gov.bc.ca
250-387-1715
2. Deputy Attorney General’s Office 250 356-0149 and AG.minister@gov.bc.ca (only responds to email but let’s clog their phone lines)
3. Ministry of the Attorney General (responsible for the RCMP) 250 952-0483 (provincial) and 416 326-5000 (federal)
4. Federal Court: (Responsible for clearing the most recent decision to proceed with the pipeline) 604-666-3232
5. Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation 250 953-4844
6. Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources 778 974 2813 (primarily responsible, ECS and FLNR below will record the message and forward it to those in power)
7. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy 778 974-6047
8. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource 250-387-6240

Thank you for coming together to protect the land, water, and each other! These are the global movements that we urgently need right now. 

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How to Support the Protectors of The Salish Sea

About Protectors of the Salish Sea:

The Protectors of the Salish Sea (PSS) have been camped out at the state capital in Olympia since September in efforts to have Gov. Inslee meet with them and take the climate emergency that we’re in seriously. They demand an end to the expansion of environmentally destructive industry to protect human, whale, and fish as well as other life forms under threat. He has yet to do so and PSS need community back-up to keep this important work going. 

This project began on in the Fall with a 47 mile walk. To quote the PCC website on The Walk:

On September 20th, 2019, Protectors of the Salish Sea began a 47 mile walk from the Tacoma LNG to the Olympia State Capitol (Sta,chas village site of Nisqually people) to rally for our SCHAYNEXW (Salmon People), our QELTHLOLMECHEN (Southern resident orca people), our sacred promises to the circle of life and for our Washington State representatives to declare a Climate Emergency and act upon that declaration by drafting emergency legislation terminating all fossil fuel expansion projects in the State of Washington.

We walked to honor our Tribal Treaty rights as Climate Disruption illegally kills our wild salmon in the shallowing and warming rivers. We walked to breach the 4 dams on the Lower Snake River. We walked to elimainate all the open pen fish farms in Namgis and Musgamagw territories in BC. that decimate our Salish Sea wild salmon.

This is the work that has the power to bring much needed change to our current, extractive, and devastating system in the colonial nation state. But front line water protectors are getting cold! Please take a moment to consider ways that you can support the PSS in their work as they spend month after month outside, taking care of community, holding ceremony, organizing speakers and marches, and in other ways working to protect the earth and water.

The Supply Drive:

The PSS have posted a Needs List with items they need to keep going. I have half a dozen or so chronic illnesses, 2 foster kids, and I teach full time. I’m not able to join the camp in the long term. But I can head up a drive for the supplies! On February 15 I’ll drive from Bellingham (Lummi and Nooksack land) to Olympia (Nisqually land) with what I hope will be a Prius full of supplies. The supplies they have asked for are:

  • Very Large Event tent (To hold Powwows at Olympia State Capital)
  • Seasoned(Dry) firewood
  • Good quality down coats and wool long underwear   
  • Subzero sleeping bags
  • Smart phones for organizers- must be wifi/signal capable and accept pre-paid cards
  • Battery-operated string lights
  • Battery powered lanterns or solar LUCI lights
  •  Folding tables
  • Tobacco (for ceremony)
  • Car battery charger 

82783621_10157722309772597_4868277977554616320_oSupport the Supply Drive by Donating Items:

Can you look through basements, closets, and so on for some of these items? Do you know someone who could spare a little firewood? Do you like to thrift and wouldn’t mind picking up some items? Do you or others in your family have some old smart phones? Can you circulate this post on social media? Please feel free to pull the pictures with info on this post and use them on Instagram. I can pick up supplies from Vancouver, BC through Olympia, Washington so if you have supplies and live in Blaine, Seattle, Tacoma as so on, I’m happy to make a stop over. Just leave a comment and I can pick things up!

Support the Supply Drive by Grabbing an Item or Two from the Gift Registry:

I’ve set up an REI gift registry for Protectors of the Salish Sea. No matter where you live, you can purchase an item on the registry and I’ll be able to pick it up from my local store and take it with me. I can even post pictures of the supplies being delivered if you like to see the outcome of your efforts. Can you pick up an item or two? Would you be able to share the registry with some people in your life? Can you circulate it? Again, I’ve got an Instagram compatible image here:

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Donate to the Protectors of the Salish Sea Directly:

There is a  Go Fund Me for the Climate Emergency St,chas (Olympia) occupation that you can donate much needed funds directly to the water protectors:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/meals-shirts-supplies-for-walk-protect-salish-sea?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet

Even a small donation of just $15-$30 is a valuable way to contribute. Of course, if you know anyone with deep pockets, showing them the link couldn’t hurt! If you want to brainstorm fundraising ideas or a project, you can count me in for support in your efforts.

Thank you for taking time to consider ways of supporting Protectors of the Salish Sea and taking the climate emergency seriously. These are frightening times but taking action is a strong antidote for climate grief. There is power to be had in working in solidarity. Together we are strong! 

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
    premier@gov.bc.ca
    250-387-1715
  2. Deputy Attorney General’s Office   250 356-0149 and AG.minister@gov.bc.ca (only responds to email but let’s clog their phone lines)
  3. Ministry of the Attorney General (responsible for the RCMP) 250 952-0483 (provincial) and 416 326-5000 (federal)
  4. Federal Court: (Responsible for clearing the most recent decision to proceed with the pipeline) 604-666-3232
  5. Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation 250 953-4844
  6. Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources 778 974 2813 (primarily responsible, ECS and FLNR below will record the message and forward it to those in power)
  7. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy 778 974-6047
  8. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource 250-387-6240

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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