Montreal, September 10th 2019 – Rising up to the climate crisis, unions, students, non-governmental groups, health professionals and environmental groups are calling on mass civil society across Quebec to participate in the Global Climate strike on September 27th, 2019.
The demonstrations on the 27th of September will wrap up a global week of international climate action which is coordinated by Earth Strike and dozens of groups including the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Greenpeace, 350.org, and Fridays for Future.
As governments from around the world gather to meet at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23rd, they will be greeted by increased citizen pressure to address the global environmental emergency and pushed to take much needed actions and more ambitious measures that should meet the scale of the climate crisis.
And so, at the invitation of La Planete S’Invite Au Parlement, the internationally renowned climate activist Greta Thunberg has accepted to spend the last day of this international week of mobilization with us in Montreal. Every Friday, for the past year, the young Swedish lady has been on strike from school to denounce the irresponsible inaction of our governments in the face of the global climate crisis.
“ Because if everyone knew how serious the situation is and how little is actually being done, everyone would come and sit down beside us. We have no political manifesto or demand but this one : “listen to the science” (…) If carbon emissions must stop, then we must stop them.” –Greta Thunberg
Now or Never
September 27th is the moment to send a strong message to our governments by shutting down work for 24 hours and freeing all workers so they can demonstrate. We are calling on businesses to close their doors, on the unions to go on strike and on the students to leave their classrooms. We are calling on all of Quebec to join us in the streets on Friday 27.
In Québec, 7 unions and over 400 community organizations have adopted a mandate to join the global strike for the climate. Even more unions have announced their intention to vote on joining the strike. The students have been mobilized since February and will be voting on whether to join the strike in the coming days. This new intergenerational movement calls on all Quebecers to join us.
We also bow to the efforts of the central unions of Quebec who endorse this mobilisation. Their participation on the 27th is a stupendous and symbolic gesture of support that translates a strong alliance and brings about the progress that our society needs and that the climate crisis desperately demands.
This new climate movement began with the youth and the time has come for it be intergenerational. The survival of the human species cannot rest on the shoulders of students alone. Today we hear the call of those striking youth. Our way of life has got to change in order to halt the climate crisis. The IPCC 1.5 degree report (released last October) was clear: without a global reduction of 45% of greenhouse gases by 2030 (from the level of 2010) and a 100% decrease by 2050, our children will have no world to inherit. The science is clear, so we demand that our governments adopt laws to impose and respect those targets.
The movement to stop climate change is turning to strike action because there is so little time left to act. Unless we act quickly and decisively the damage to the global environment will be permanent and severe. Taking immediate action to address climate change will be far less expensive than the collapse of ecosystems, the widespread extinction of animal species and the devastating and frequent natural disasters which wait for us in a warmer world. Governments continue to justify their inaction by pretending that a wealthier economy needs such sacrifices, but there is no wealth, and even less jobs, on a dead planet.
We say to the youth, loud and clear: you are not alone. We are with you in this fight. We understand the emergency that we face, and we will continue to take all necessary actions to force governments to act on climate and to take their responsibilities for the safety of their citizens and the only planet that we can live on.
“We are calling on all workers. To be clear: we are very well aware of the limits of the right to strike in Québec which stops us from striking for political ends. And yet we are calling on people to disobey. We are calling for democratic strike votes across all unions, in respect and with knowledge of all legal consequences. We bow to the unions for all they have done so far. We hope their courage will bring others to go forth.” –François Geoffroy, spokesperson of La Planète s’invite au Parlement.
“ Climate change is the largest public health threat of the 21st century. It also happens to be the one opportunity to better the wellbeing of entire populations if we operate a radical and systemic transition that respects the limits of our planet. As health professionals, we collectively encourage higher ambitions from our politicians et and we support this global strike movement.” –Dre Marie-Jo Ouimet, La Planète s’invite en Santé.
“Quebecers understood that fighting climate change is no longer the environmentalists’ fight alone. They realized that climate change is also a social and economic issue. Real systemic changes are needed in order to break free from the omnipresence of the fossil fuels industry. The only strength that can break the status quo and their control is the force of number with people mobilizing and demanding change. The climate action movement will continue to grow as long as politicians don’t match the leadership of the youth and the students.” — Patrick Bonin, spokesperson of the represented NGOs including Greenpeace Canada, Équiterre, la Fondation David Suzuki, Projet de la Réalité Climatique Canada and Oxfam.
“Community organizations feel strongly about the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity since they affect people already living injustice. The right to health, to food, to a shelter, to a decent wage, to a clean environment are threatened more than ever before. We believe that the community sector has a responsibility to work with those people to give them a place in the democratic processes and public conversations around those issues.”
Caroline Toupin, spokesperson for la Planète s’invite dans le communautaire
« Last spring, the youth promised that the next time we would take on the streets, we would not be alone. Students cannot be the only ones striking, that’s why we need every member of society with us. Student strikes will intensify and multiply during the upcoming year, because today it is clear that we are no longer alone and we can no longer wait. It’s now or never. » Louis Couillard, spokesperson for La planète s’invite à l’Université
For more information, please contact:
Diego Creimer, 514-999-6743, [email protected] – Fondation David Suzuki
Rosemonde Gingras, 514-458-8355, [email protected] – La Pacte
Leonard Leclerc, 514-586-7233, [email protected]
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