Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

THE GOOD NEWS

Posted by strattof on April 7, 2011

War! Poverty! Injustice! Environmental Catastrophe! The flyers we distribute every Thursday on the Scarth Street Mall are filled with such bad news stories.

 In relating bad news, our intention is not to depress our readers. Rather it is to provide the motivation to resist the way things are in our world: the dollar and human costs of war, for example; the growing gap between rich and poor; the devastation of the environment.

But it is not all doom and gloom out there. Many positive developments have occurred in recent years. It is such occurrences that are the focus of today’s flyer. 

Good news stories also need to be told, as they, too, provide the motivation for resistance–this time by showing that the ongoing struggle for peace and justice is not futile but can accomplish much good in the world.

THE REGINA PUBLIC LIBARY

In 2003, the Library Board, with the support of City Council, announced the closure of three library branches–Connaught, Glen Elm, and Prince of Wales–along with the main branch’s Dunlop Art Gallery and Prairie History Room.

In response, Regina citizens mobilized, forming the Friends of the Regina Public Library. Leading five months of public protests and collecting more than 26,000 petition signatures, this group caused the closures to be rescinded.

Today, all nine branches of the RPL are flourishing and, in a remarkable turn of fate, the once doomed Prince of Wales is getting a brand new and much enlarged facility.

Kudos to the Friends of the RPL and the current Library Board.

REGINA TRANSIT

The Regina Citizens’ Public Transit Coalition just celebrated its 10th anniversary. A grassroots organization that advocates for high quality public transportation, it works for people and for the planet.

One of the Transit Coalition’s main achievements is the $15 monthly bus pass for low-income Regina residents, which was first introduced in 2003. A joint initiative of the City and the Province, it has made it much easier for many Regina residents to get to work and to use services in the city.   

In 2009, the Transit Coalition presented City Council with a petition, bearing nearly 8,000 signatures, requesting public transit service on public holidays and all day Sunday. 

As a result of this petition, Sunday transit service was extended by four hours, with buses now running from 8 am to 6 pm.

There is, however, still no bus service on public holidays. As a result, people without a car are unable to attend such community events as Canada Day celebrations or Remembrance Day services.

Kudos to Regina Citizens’ Public Transit Coalition, Regina Transit, the City of Regina, and the Province of Saskatchewan. To join the Transit Coalition and become an advocate for public transit in Regina, contact Terri Sleeva (k.t.sleeva@sasktel.net) or Catherine Verrall (cfverrall@yahoo.ca).

NUCLEAR POWER

In November 2008, the Government of Saskatchewan announced its intention to bring nuclear power to the province. Citizens once again mobilized, this time under the banner of Clean Green Saskatchewan, a grassroots organization whose main mandate is to educate the rest of us about problems with nuclear power.  

In June 2009, 1000s of the province’s citizens turned out for public consultations on uranium development, with 84% expressing opposition to the development of nuclear power, compared with only 14% supporting it. The vast majority (98%) also supported the development of alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar.  

As a result, in December 2009, the government ruled out the idea of nuclear power–at least for the meantime. Now, the government is looking to introduce small nuclear reactors to Saskatchewan. There is also a move afoot to bring nuclear waste to Saskatchewan for burial or reprocessing.

Congratulations to Clean Green Saskatchewan and the citizens of Saskatchewan. Thanks to the Government of Saskatchewan for listening to its citizens. When the prospect of small nuclear reactors or nuclear waste burial or reprocessing is raised, let the government know they are too dangerous and too expensive. To find out more about nuclear power and nuclear waste, go to www.cleangreensask.ca

THE EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION

In January 2011, the people of Egypt began to take to the streets demanding the overthrow of the dictatorial regime of President Hosni Mubarak. Backed by western governments, Mubarak had ruled Egypt for almost 30 years.

 After 18 days of peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations, the people of Egypt forced the resignation of their autocratic president.

  • All power to the Egyptian people. They provide a model for all of us in our struggle against undemocratic forces.
  • Shame on Prime Minister Stephen Harper who continued to support President Mubarak up until the very last moment.  

VIGIL FLYERS

MORE GOOD NEWS! You are still taking our flyers!!

Every Thursday for almost four years, we have been standing on the corner of Scarth Street and 11th Avenue handing out flyers. Each week an average of 144 Regina downtown workers and shoppers take one. 

  • Thanks so much for taking our flyers.
  • A special thanks to those who have stopped and discussed issues with us.
  • Let us know what other issues you would like us to examine.
  • Should you ever be free on a Thursday at noon, please join us.

The trouble is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There’s no innocence. Either way you’re accountable.”                                                                                           Arundhati Roy

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