Archives For Forget the Box

Pots and pans march silhouettes

Pots and pans echo through Toronto as ‘casserole’ protest takes hold

The clanging of pots and pans rang through Toronto’s west end Wednesday night as an estimated 2000 people of all ages came out to march in support of Quebec’s student movement and against the province’s Bill 78.

“We were both inspired by what was happening in Quebec and we’d both spent some time there in the last couple of weeks,” said Leila Pourtavaf, one of the event’s organizers. “Coming back to Toronto we wanted to both show solidarity, but also recognize that austerity is not affecting only Quebec.”

Wearing red t-shirts, hats, jackets, accessories and the now famous red squares of the Quebec protest movement, people gathered at Dufferin Grove, a west end park, and began the percussive protest at the appointed 8 p.m.

From the outset, the protest had the makings of a family affair. Claudio, a native Chilean, attended with his wife and four-month old daughter. He noted that pots and pans protests were originally used against the Allende government in Chile in the early 1970s, and were later renewed during resistance to the Pinochet dictatorship.

Read more: http://www.forgetthebox.net/pots-and-pans-echo-through-toronto-as-casserole-protest-takes-hold/

Occupy Montreal march intersection lie-in

Occupy Montreal enters third week with march on premier’s office

Injured U.S. veteran becomes rallying point

Near a thousand protesters rallied in Montreal’s Victoria Square, site of the Occupy Montreal movement, before marching through the downtown core to Quebec Premier Jean Charest’s office on Saturday.

Dubbed the People’s Plaza by Occupy Montreal organizers, Victoria Square and the surrounding area is now home to over fifty tents on three adjacent lots in Montreal’s financial district.

The Montreal movement, part of the larger Occupy Wall Street protests against economic inequality and excessive corporate influence in politics, organized the march in solidarity with international Occupy protests. Marchers wound their way through the streets up to Premier Jean Charest’s Montreal office chanting, “Whose Montreal? Our Montreal!”

Retired Canadian air force pilot Joe O’Connell watched as the march passed his hotel. “I wasn’t expecting it,” he said. “We just got back from a tour in old Montreal and we had to get out of our taxi a block sooner because we couldn’t get to the hotel.”

O’Connell, visiting from Ottawa, hadn’t yet seen what he called the tent city in the capital, but sympathized with the middle- and lower-class or what has come to be known as the 99 percent.

“I think the fact that the big industrialists and millionaires get away with the taxes, that’s the hard part of it,” said O’Connell. “They have all this money and they have the wealthy lawyers to do everything they can to reduce their taxes whereas us middle class guys are taxed 45 or 50 percent– you’re struggling all the time.”

Read more: http://www.forgetthebox.net/occupy-montreal-premiers-office-march/

 

Occupy Toronto marchers drum and chant

One week in, Occupy Toronto draws 1,500 to downtown rally

Over a thousand people marched from the camp at St. James Park through downtown Toronto to Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday, one week after the beginning of the Occupy Toronto protest.

“I think it’s really exciting and I’m really glad to see this big mobilization today,” said activist and researcher Emily Paradis, accompanied by her teenage son and his friend.

After a week and extensive media coverage, it was still unclear whether Occupy Toronto would be able to maintain the public’s attention.

“I was [at St. James Park] in the middle of the week on a night when it was just pouring rain and it just felt like this very small band of incredibly brave people camping in the freezing cold and the pouring rain,” said Paradis. “I didn’t want them to feel isolated or like an island, so it’s nice to see this big mobilization today.”

Protesters gathered at St. James Park in the early afternoon before marching through Toronto’s financial district on the way Nathan Phillips Square outside Toronto’s city hall.

Drums and chants of “This is what democracy looks like!” echoed as marchers streamed into the square shortly after 3 p.m.

Read more: http://www.forgetthebox.net/occupy-toronto-downtown-rally/

Toronto the Green

July 19, 2011

Environmental impressions from a week in Canada’s largest city

Green Toronto skylineBefore moving to Toronto for the rest of the summer I was warned about the dangers of biking on its streets. I’d need a helmet and some luck, I was told.   And I’d heard plenty about newly elected Mayor Rob Ford’s lack of appetite for cyclists and their paths.

In fact, the week I arrived, bike paths were making headlines as city council decided to remove bike lanes on Jarvis street they had set up one year earlier.   The irony of the decision is that it will cost much more to remove the lanes than it did to install them. Reports say the removal will cost $200,000 while the original installation cost only $59,000.

Read more: http://www.forgetthebox.net/toronto-the-green/

Giant pile of corn meal at Greenfield Ethanol

Photo essay: Grain drain? Corn ethanol and a tour of Canada’s biggest producer

With the effects of climate change becoming more pronounced and more dangerous each year, the push for greener fuels is growing around the world.  Developers of plant-based fuels called biofuels are doing their best to be the ones to replace gasoline, but not all biofuels are as green as they seem. Some can take nearly as much fossil fuel to produce as they are supposed to replace.

Corn ethanol is what is called a first generation biofuel because it is produced from a food grain. This fact has placed it at the centre of the food vs. fuel debate that pits the nutritional needs of people around the world against the need to move away from oil as a fuel source, while exposing corn prices to volatile market forces that have many doubting the viability of corn as a long-term solution.

In Canada, one player stands above the rest: Greenfield Ethanol.  Forget the Box visited the Greenfield Ethanol plant in Varennes on Montreal’s south shore and takes you on a visual tour of the world of biofuels, from corn to ethanol.

See more photos: http://www.forgetthebox.net/corn-ethanol-visual-tour/

Shale gas protest march in Montreal

Month-long anti-shale gas march peaks in Montreal rally

If anyone thought the battle over shale gas in Quebec was finished, a wave of protest that has swept through the province washed those thoughts away in Montreal on Saturday. Organizers and supporters of the “Moratorium for a Generation” marched on the city, bringing to a crescendo a month-long trek from Rimouski in eastern Quebec and along the St-Lawrence River to downtown Montreal outside of Premier Jean Charest’s office.

“We’re asking for a 20-year moratorium on the exploration and extraction of shale gas in Quebec,” said organizer Jean-Sébastien Leduc. Twenty years is the length of a shale gas exploration land claim and of a generation, said Leduc. “We don’t want to leave a legacy of polluted water, contaminated air and noise to the next generation.”

Read more: http://www.forgetthebox.net/wave-of-protest-month-long-anti-shale-gas-march-crests-in-montreal-rally/

Jana Wiechmann, Greenpeace coordinator, BremenDespite the fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster and renewed fears about the safety of nuclear power, almost no country has taken a position against the controversial energy source, except one.   Europe’s economic engine and most populace country, Germany, has bucked the global trend and announced it will shut down all of its nuclear power plants by 2022, at the latest.

Read more: http://www.forgetthebox.net/germany-to-abandon-nuclear-by-2022/

Wind turbines in northern Germany

Green Germany: The Klimahaus museum and beyond

When Bob Geldof opened the world’s first climate change museum in northern Germany two years ago, he was surprised by two guests, a man from Niger and a man from Samoa whose countries feature prominently in The Journeythe main exhibit at the Klimahaus. Geldof, a well-known human rights activist and music producer, spoke about water, from rising sea levels to desertification, and how these global warming problems will lead to climate migration.   People like Foua from Samoa and Ibrahim from Niger would be forced to abandon their homes and homelands because their island is being flooded or there simply isn’t enough water available to survive where their people have lived for centuries.

It’s no wonder then that two years later when I arrived at the Klimahaus there was a climate refugee art exhibit surrounding the museum.

Read More: http://www.forgetthebox.net/eco-initiatives-germany/

With Facebook and Twitter alight with news and people’s voices on the impending election, and the media reporting every last controversy it can uncover, Canadians across the country still complain that the real issues are not being tackled. But at least one issue in this campaign has its own day.

Ten days before the election, on April 22, Earth Day gives Canadians and people around the world the chance to focus on the environment. But the question is: does anyone really care?

Read more: http://www.forgetthebox.net/earth-day/