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Going Public to Support Water Defenders in Canada

Posted in: Activism Guide
    Friday, March 15, 2019 - 16:14
    Photo Credit: 
    Photo of Secwepemc Nation member at site of Mount Polley mine disaster, by Kieran Oud, Hazeltine Creek, BC

    It’s no coincidence that three of Amnesty’s highest priority, ongoing cases in Canada all revolve around the industrial contamination and destruction of rivers, lakes and streams. 

    The struggle over mercury contamination at Grassy Narrows. The risks to water and fish from the Mount Polley mining disaster. The threatened destruction of the Peace River Valley by the Site C dam. 

     Each of these cases is a powerful illustration of the continued importance of healthy rivers and lakes to the well-being of the Indigenous peoples who rely on them -- and the terrible consequences when federal and provincial governments ignore their rights. 

     Bringing these three cases together is a way to highlight common themes and engage more people in speaking out for justice. 

     Our campaign on water defenders and human rights launches on World Water Day (March 22) and will continue through the summer. We’re offering a variety of tools and techniques to focus on these three cases at public events, whether you have a table at an event already planned in your community or you host your own water rights event. 

     Look for the following: 

    Group activities: For each of the cases, we are highlighting action techniques that you can do as an individual just about anywhere, such as calling the BC Premier or tweeting the Prime Minister. Sometimes these are more fun, engaging and inspiring when you make it a group activity. The easy to use online tools are ideal for hosting a twitter party or click-to-call phone party. 

    Case sheets: For each of the three cases, we will be preparing printable case sheets similar to those produced for Write for Rights. One idea is to host a letter-writing event focused on clean water and human rights. Download them all at www.amnesty.ca/defendingwater (Grassy Narrows - Mount Polley - Site C

     Video: We are producing a short video with clips from Indigenous activists from the affected communities. The video can be used as the inspiration opening to an event or as part of a tabling display. 

     Webinars: On Thursday March 21 at 8:30 PM EST we’ll host the first of a planned series of webinars digging deeper into the issues highlighted by these cases. The webinar is now full, but you can register to receive the recording and to be notified if space opens up. Register now for the webinar>>>  

     Website: Look for regularly updated action opportunities at www.amnesty.ca/defendingwater