Building the Whirlwind

The Movement Story part 3

Collective strategy and action are inherently messy

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In the leadup to the protest, there was tension in the relationships between progressive institutions and grassroots organizations, and power dynamics played a big role in this.

During the protest itself, the experience wasn’t positive for everybody: multiple Indigenous people were shoved, and some protestors reacted negatively to Land Back signs, shouting that they didn’t have a place at a climate protest.

Racism, conflict and power imbalances are part of the story, too. To pretend they didn’t exist would be to ignore the complexity of social movements. Crucially, we can learn from the messiness and from what went wrong.

Protest experiences are not the same within a movement

In the leadup to September 27, young leaders - along with the support of other grassroots groups and some progressive institutions - organized a project that saw 15 Indigenous youth and 15 settler youth come together for three days of relationship-building and workshops. The goal was twofold: to train these youth to be climate ambassadors and to prepare them to lead the march on September 27, alongside Greta Thunberg. Kijatâi-Alexandra Veillette-Cheezo, a two-spirited youth from the Anishinabek Nation was one of the people who...