How you built a movement for a Just Recovery

350.org is building a global climate movement.

This Tuesday, we [350.org] joined our friends from Climate Action Network Canada, Sierra Club BC, and Leadnow to hold an e-rally where thousands of people delivered over 105,000 petition signatures to federal party leaders, MPs, and cabinet ministers demanding a Just Recovery. We also heard from movement leaders who are organizing tirelessly for Indigenous rights and support systems for migrants.

If you missed the rally, you can watch the recording and petition delivery here.

The rally was powerful, and it was just the first step. We need to keep building momentum to ensure elected officials continue to put people first in their recovery plans from COVID-19. Keep the conversation for a Just Recovery going through the summer by holding a teach-in in your community. Check out our resources to help you get started.

Together, we’ve all done so much in these last few months. Here is a look back at the incredible people-powered organizing that has led to this moment:

When COVID-19 hit communities across Canada, people across the country came together to organize mutual aid efforts and demand that no one was left behind in the government’s response. People like you fought to ensure everyone had the support they needed to pay bills and meet their basic needs. Communities also organized to demand more than just gratitude for frontline workers — calling for critical supports such as decent pay and sick leave.1

Then, tens of thousands of us spoke up to tell governments to put people before profit. And, it worked. After people across Canada called on elected officials to reject multi-billion dollar bailouts to Big Oil, the government listened. When Trudeau announced support for the oil and gas sector, it was primarily for cleaning up abandoned oil wells. Thanks to people-powered action, Big Oil got a small fraction of what they were demanding.2

At the end of May, 400+ other organizations, unions, and grassroots groups, representing millions of people, launched the 6 principles for a Just Recovery.3 Communities across Canada committed to not going back to business as usual of climate inaction and rising inequality after the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, we began to build a mass, people-powered movement to fight for a Just Recovery that puts people first.

This month, over 40 communities across Canada held digital teach-ins about how we can win a Just Recovery.

Last week, as the government asked for input on post-pandemic recovery plans, hundreds of you submitted briefs in support of a Just Recovery. So many people participated that the government’s online portal temporarily crashed.

In early June, the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery south of the border, and Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Eishia Hudson – among 4 other fatal police shootings in Manitoba in April – all at the hands of police-state violence sparked a mass movement to defend Black and Indigenous lives. It was an important reminder that to fight for a Just Recovery and climate justice, we must also fight to dismantle white supremacy and defund harmful institutions, like the fossil fuel industry and the police.4 We took a step towards starting this conversation by co-hosting a mass teach-in about how our fight for a Just Recovery must be anti-racist.5

These past few months have made it clear that in a moment of crisis, we need people-powered organizing to make sure political leaders put communities first. Let’s continue to push for a Just Recovery and Green New Deal to build back better.

With gratitude, Amara

PS – Now, as world leaders prepare to convene for the G20 summit, people are speaking up to demand that finance ministers around the globe deliver a Just Recovery. G20 finance ministers hold the pursestrings for the wealthiest economies in the world. And they can make a Just Recovery possible. Will you speak up to demand that all G20 finance ministers, including our own Minister Bill Morneau, deliver a Just Recovery for all?


References:

1 – 5 Ways to Demand Justice During the COVID-19 Pandemic

2 – Our response to today’s announcement about federal support for Big Oil

3 – The 6 principles for a Just Recovery

4- Climate justice means justice for black lives

5 – Why a Just Recovery means Justice for Black and Indigenous lives

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