Sunday, June 26, 2011


David Suzuki and other prominent environmentalists are urging Canadians to respond to their call to protest the Trans Keystone XL Canada Corp. pipeline (BCSEA-NEWS). We are advised by John Newcomb (jnewcomb@UVIC.CA) that the planned protests will take place in Washington, D.C. this summer. So far, so good. Sounds wonderful. Many young people will see this as an opportunity to express their disaffection at the way their world is being dismantled. However, the caveat immediately following this call to action does not sit right with me.

The caveat reads: “But Suzuki and other Canadians (BCSEA-NEWS) involved in the planned actions of civil disobedience have indicated they won’t risk being among those who might end up in handcuffs for fear they might lose the ability to travel to the U.S.”
Well, now. Fear rules. At least among our own generals of this war seeking to ward off environmental collapse. In the old days princes and kings would go into battle with their troops. They took the same risks themselves that they urged upon their followers. Afraid of not being able to travel to the US if one partakes of peaceful civil disobedience? Would that be so terrible? To the contrary, I think this would send the most striking message to the entire world. David Suzuki thrown out of the US and not allowed back because he actually physically protested the construction of a massive, murderous pipeline? Why, this action would give the entire Western world pause.

Other nations would conclude that our earth’s life support systems must indeed be critical for David Suzuki to risk arrest and perhaps they should themselves pull away from their own death oriented projects. But is the fear expressed by John Newcomb really that of not being allowed back in the US? I suspect the real fear he expresses, particularly for David Suzuki, is centered in the David Suzuki Foundation. I suspect that the most pressing fear is that of losing government funding and certain conservative sponsor support if David Suzuki actually risked arrest. Their attitude seems to be to let the troops, the young kids, run all the real risks while they act as the snugly secure generals. I don’t buy it. It’s not right. In my opinion it’s a cop-out and a betrayal of the young.

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