Hell No, We Won’t Go

So my 3 and 4 year old made posters of their own to go to a protest last weekend.

It was a protest called “Defend Our Climate, Defend Our Communities”.

Some people didn’t like that I was taking them to a protest. Some people thought it might be “dangerous”. Some people mentioned that I am somehow indoctrinating my children.

Yes, I have seen protests get violent. I am not naïve. Indeed, the first protest I ever went to, the protest line got mowed down by a car, and I was one of the people who got a direct hit from the car. I was 16.

I am now 38.

I have never been injured at a protest since. And if I was somewhere, anywhere with my children and felt unsafe in any way, I would turn around and leave.

Am I indoctrinating my children? I am teaching them my own morals, values and beliefs.

I also do not profess to know everything about the oil industry. But I do know the following:
* They want to build a pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to the north coast of BC. It goes through the Big Bear Rainforest, and tankers would be navigating through waters that a ferry (who navigates those waters every day) crashed last week. None of it sounds particularly safe to me.
* The tar sands are an area bigger than the United Kingdom.
* Canada has backed out of the Kyoto Accord and now has one of the worst environmental records of any country.
* Global warming is real. Ask a scientist. Or 50. Yes, there are always changes in the Earth, but we are contributing to the rapid rate at which the changes are occurring.
* From Exxon’s very own site “Gasoline accounts for less than one half of the products made from a barrel of crude in the United States. Roughly another third goes to making the diesel and jet fuels that power commercial transportation and personal travel. So what about the rest of the barrel? Oil is an important source of raw materials for making plastics and other chemical products.”
We need to rethink how we are living. We need to look at how we are choosing to live. So how can we make a difference and stop contributing to the industry?
* Wars happen over oil. When your 4 year old asks you “Why do people kill one another in wars?”, what do you tell them? I tell mine the truth. I tell them that people kill people over oil and money and religion. That’s the 4 year old version, and it is the real truth.

* The safest way to transport oil is by rail. Yes, trains derail, but not at the frequency of truck accidents or broken pipelines.

* The use of oil is not going away. There need to be enforced safety measures in place and companies need to be held accountable for spills.

My children are my world. I want them to have clean water to drink. I want them to have clean air to breathe. I want them to eat real, clean food that was grown locally.  I don’t want them to die of cancer like their father did.

I don’t want to lose them into this consumer culture.

So I am making efforts in our lives to be less consumers.

My 4 year old, in her infinite wisdom, after ranting for about 20 minutes one day, said the most profound thing. She said “Mama, I think everybody around the whole world needs to fly up in a rocket ship and look down at the Earth and see what is happening. Maybe then they would stop killing the earth.”

I think she is right.

So I will keep teaching my kids. I think it’s important. They are the future.

In 1990, my favourite Canadian band, Spirit of the West,  released a song called “Dirty Pool”. It still rings true today.

The water is black the coast was clear
Now they’re sweating dollars dripping fear
What a way to end the fiscal year
Mopping up the dirty pool
Mopping up the dirty pool
They’ve given us a new career
It’s the make work project of the year
Oh dear god bless the volunteer
Mopping up the dirty pool
Mopping up the dirty pool
Your way can’t stay
Your way can’t stay won’t stay can’t stay
Mopping up the dirty pool
This ship of steel is a leaky tin
Spilt milk tears run down your chin
This crying shame’s a fuckin’ sin
Mopping up the dirty pool
A rusty tanker’s belly a fault somewhere it seems
Bled gallons to the ocean and poisoned the marine
The shoreline’s tarred and feathered
And the seagulls look like crows
The unofficial explanation
“shit happens don’t you know”
Your way can’t stay
Your way can’t stay won’t stay
Can’t stay won’t stay
Mopping up the dirty pool
Your way is the wrong way
Your way can’t stay won’t stay can’t stay
Mopping up the dirty
Mopping up the dirty
Mopping up the dirty pool


About braintofingers

My name is Tracy. I am a single mother of 2 amazing daughters. I am an advocate for all kinds of things. This is partially a parenting blog (because that is what I am and what I do) and partially a whatever the heck is on my mind that day kinda blog.
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2 Responses to Hell No, We Won’t Go

  1. Janet says:

    As yes, DirtyPool. Totally fitting…

  2. I totally appreciate and agree with your parenting. I don’t think protesting is wrong. What you are teaching your kids is a non-violent and peaceful way to help the planet earth and help people think how wrong they are by doing what they are doing.

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