Half a million Montreal, Canada pro-climate protesters


This 27 September 2019 Canadian TV video says about itself:

Climate strike highlights from across Canada

Hundreds of thousands of Canadians attended marches across the country to urge government and corporate leaders to address climate change. Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist who has helped spur the global climate protest movement, appeared in Montreal and addressed thousands of Canadians.

From the World Socialist Web Site in Canada:

Half a million people join Montreal climate change protest

By our reporters

30 September 2019

Up to half a million people joined last Friday’s climate change protest in Montreal, likely making it the largest ever demonstration in a city with a rich and tumultuous history of social protest.

The Montreal march was by far the biggest of the more than eighty rallies and demonstrations held across Canada on Friday, the last of eight days of coordinated “climate strike” protests around the world. However, large crowds, above all of young people, took to the streets in cities across Canada. An estimated 10,000 protested in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and an equal number in Winnipeg. More than 25,000 marched in Quebec City, and tens of thousands protested in both Ottawa and Toronto. Some 100,000 participated in Vancouver’s “climate strike” protest, and 30,000 more rallied in British Columbia’s capital, Victoria.

The scale of the protests attests to the growing recognition that climate change threatens ecological and social devastation, as well as to mounting popular anger at the manifest failure of the world’s corporate-controlled governments to seriously address this crisis.

That said, Friday’s protests were socially and politically very heterogeneous.

Indeed, much of the political and media establishment cynically lent them their support. This was epitomized by the participation of Prime Minster Justin Trudeau, flanked by fellow Liberal candidates for the October 21 federal election, in the Montreal march.

Justin Trudeau talks very differently about global warming than climate science denialist Donald Trump.

However, when the issue is fossil fuel pipelines in Canada, then Trudeau’s actions do not match his words.

As Greta Thunberg said, in her Montreal speech:

You [Canada] are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because in both cases, it’s just empty words. And the politics needed are still nowhere in sight. So we are basically the same.

The World Socialist Web Site article continues:

Anticipating student walkouts, Montreal’s main public-school boards and many CEGEPs (pre-university and technical colleges) cancelled classes for the day. On Sept. 25, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante announced that public transit would be free across the Greater Montreal region on Friday as “a show of support” for the “climate strike”.

For tens of thousands of high school and college-age youth, Friday’s “climate strike” was their first-ever political protest. And under conditions of global capitalist breakdown—austerity and precarious employment, imperialist war and surging great-power conflict, and environmental crisis—and a global resurgence of working-class struggle, it will undoubtedly not be their last.

Delegations of teachers, nurses and other workers attended the Montreal march. But the vast majority came with classmates, friends or family.

Many brought hand-made signs. Some of these attacked big business and capitalism or focused on the imperiled environment. Others denounced consumerism and reputed excessive consumption—this in a world where the wealth of the 26 richest billionaires is equal to that of the poorest 50 percent.

“I am here because I am concerned about the risk the Earth will be destroyed,” Roger told the World Socialist Web Site. “What the governments are doing is insufficient. Financial interests pressure them to be ineffective. They are responsive to big business, to profit, and they focus on the short term, not the long term.”

Zoé

Zoé, a special education teacher, said she was demonstrating because governments have failed to act. “From a global standpoint, I think we need pretty drastic action, but instead we have tiny steps. By mobilizing in great number, we will show that climate change must be addressed.”

In speaking with the WSWS, many demonstrators emphasized the global character of the protests and enthused over the size of the Montreal march. The politicians and corporate elite would have no choice but to listen, they added, and if they did not, the protests would only continue.

In reply, WSWS reporters noted that around the world the capitalist elite is lurching ever further right. Moreover, the global corporate struggle for profit and the economic and strategic rivalry among the capitalist nation-states constitute insuperable barriers to a coordinated global restructuring of the world’s economy from reliance on fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Trudeau met with a mixed reception at Friday’s march. Some gladly shook his hand. Others jeered him, for seeking to bulldozer through the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, to transport bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to Canada’s west coast.

Also joining the Montreal march were the Green Party’s Elizabeth May and Bloc Québécois (BQ) leader Yves-François Blanchet.

At the Montreal protest, supporters of the Socialist Equality Party distributed close to a thousand copies of a statement titled “The only solution to climate change is world socialism.”

The statement explained that the climate change crisis could only be addressed by reorganizing socio-economic life so as to make meeting social needs, not private profit, the animating principle; and that the only social force capable of bringing about this revolutionary change is the international working class.

Multifactor models reveal worse picture of climate change impact on marine life: here.

Snowy owl at traffic camera in Canada


This video says about itself:

Rare Snowy Owl Captured on Traffic Camera in Canada

7 January 2016

A Montreal traffic camera captured stunning images of a snowy owl in flight over a highway earlier this week.

A series of images were taken on Jan. 3 by a traffic camera over Montreal’s Highway 40, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported.

In the photos, the owl appears in the corner of the frame, flies toward the camera and past it.

This is a young female snowy owl.

Canadian squirrel steals camera and films


This video is called A squirrel nabbed my GoPro and carried it up a tree (and then dropped it).

From the Daily Telegraph in Britain about this video:

Cheeky squirrel steals a GoPro camera

Footage of an inquisitive squirrel stealing a GoPro camera and dragging it up a tree has gone viral online

17 Nov 2014

You don’t always need the high-production values of David Attenborough‘s Life Story, a team of experienced wildlife cameramen and the patience of a saint to put together an impressive animal video.

As the clip above demonstrates, sometimes you just need a GoPro camera and a slice of bread.

Montreal resident David Freiheit left his camera, with bait attached, at the base of a tree and stood nearby as an inquisitive squirrel approached.

The cheeky animal then dragged the camera up the tree, inadvertently filming Mr Freiheit in the process. Upon realising that the GoPro was not particularly tasty, the squirrel then jettisoned the camera onto the pavement below.

After being published on YouTube, Mr Freiheit’s footage has been viewed over 600,000 times. Completely nuts.

Big Quebec pro-students pro-civil rights demonstration


This video says about itself:

Kinetic typography of an excellent speech by Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, spokesperson for CLASSE (Quebec student union).

By Keith Jones in Montreal, Quebec:

Quebec: Huge protest supports striking students, denounces Bill 78

23 May 2012

More than 100,000 people took to the streets of Montreal yesterday to mark the 100th day since the beginning of the Quebec student strike and to denounce the Quebec Liberal government’s Bill 78.

Adopted in less than 24 hours late last week, Bill 78 criminalizes the student strike by outlawing picket lines anywhere in the vicinity of the province’s universities and CEGEPs (pre-university and technical colleges) and by threatening teachers with criminal prosecution and massive fines if they make any accommodations to striking students or fail to perform all of their normal functions.

Bill 78 also places sweeping restrictions on the right to demonstrate anywhere—and over any issue—in Canada’s second most populous province. Any demonstration of more than 50 people is illegal unless demonstration organizers submit to police in writing more than eight hours in advance the route and duration of the protest and abide by any changes requested by the police. Demonstration organizers are also legally compelled to assist the authorities in ensuring that protesters do not transgress the police-prescribed protest route.

The same day the Liberals rammed Bill 78 through the National Assembly, Montreal’s municipal government, meeting in special session, adopted its own emergency bylaw compelling police authorization for demonstration-routes and making it illegal to wear any form of face covering—including face-paint, a nijab,

sic. Probably, a “hijab” (headscarf worn by many religious Muslim women) is meant

or a scarf—while participating in a demonstration.

Quebec’s corporate elite has strongly supported Bill 78, just as it has the government’s insistence that its plan to raise university tuitions by 82 percent over the next seven years is non-negotiable.

The huge turnout for Tuesday’s demonstration is testimony to the widespread support for the students and recognition that Bill 78 constitutes a sweeping attack on the democratic rights of all.

There were numerous hand-made placards denouncing Bill 78. One read, “Academic Freedom=Free Speech and Free Assembly”; another “Bill 78, May 68”; a third, “A government that uses repression is a government that is afraid. We won’t give up.”

While students comprised the majority of the protesters, there were also large numbers of workers, a significant contrast from the massive province-wide demonstration in support of the student strike held in Montreal on March 22. There were union delegations, including of teachers, and Montreal blue-collar and transit workers. But most of the workers did not appear to have come as part of an organized contingent. Some were recent university or CEGEP graduates, others retirees.

Midway through yesterday’s march, CLASSE (The Broader Coalition of the Association for Student-Union Solidarity)—the province-wide student association that initiated the current student strike—broke away from the police-approved march itinerary and led tens of thousands on an alternate course through downtown Montreal, briefly paralyzing rush-hour traffic. Police did not intervene.

The breakaway march was meant to exemplify CLASSE’s vow, announced Monday after a meeting of its leadership, that it will not submit to Bill 78. “We believe our fundamental rights should take precedence over respecting an unjust law,” announced CLASSE spokesman Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. “The Liberal government talks about intimidation since the beginning of the conflict. But with this law as it is, it is practicing intimidation.”

See also here.

Canada’s top trade unionist has condemned Labour Minister Lisa Raitt over her meddling in collective bargaining in a strike at Canadian Pacific Railways: here.