Istanbul, Turkey – Yesterday, 600 young people from 133 countries around the globe sent a global message to “Stop Tar Sands Destruction”. The statement came as part of Global PowerShift, a summit billed as tasked with building the youth climate movement around the world.
“It’s amazing to see a global movement rising to fight dirty energy around the planet, and to see that focused on the tar sands is incredible,” said Brigette DePape. “We’re going to be bringing this message from the world back home and right to heart of the destruction next week.”
PowerShift, a youth-led gathering focused on climate change and social justice, has happened twice in Canada in 2009 and 2012, with this summit being the first Global PowerShift.
Among the participants selected from thousands of applicants around the world, a team of nine young people from across Canada are attending the gathering. The team includes First Nations organizers, young workers, climate and community activists, as well as artists, all who will be involved in escalating the youth climate movement in Canada after the global gathering.
Organizing youth from across the world to send a global message against tar sands development is part of the lead up to the 4th Annual Healing Walk, which will be taking place July 5-6 in Fort McMurray, Alberta.
“We are seeing an international climate movement committed to standing with those on the front line of tar sands extraction and those who are facing the brunt of the impacts of climate change sweeping the globe,” said Suzanne Dhaliwal from the UK Tar Sands Network.
“This is happening around the globe, but also at home, with civil disobedience actions around Line 9 this week, and events like the Healing Walk to bring people together and start turning the tide away from dirty energy,” continued DePape.
The Healing Walk is organized not as a traditional protest, but as a way to bring people together to learn, meet local community members and begin to find solutions to the social, economic and environmental issues that the tar sands create.
“We welcome everyone to the Healing Walk, and we really hope that those responsible for the destruction of the tar sands will come to see the destructive impacts first-hand,” said Eriel Deranger, a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and organizer with the Healing Walk.