The Revolution is Everywhere

Worried that you see less meetings on the calendar, less posts on the website? This doesn’t mean that participants in the People’s Assembly of Victoria are being less active, it could, in fact, mean that people have become so immersed in their projects that updating websites becomes one task too many!

I see PAOV participants maneuvering their way into sustainable roles in ongoing projects like the On to Ottawa::SOS Trek; networking with more Victoria inhabitants to begin planning a National Stop Harper Day; continuing their hard-work with local organizations such as Transition Victoria, Allies for Drug War Survivors, Social Coast, and more; as well as taking some time to recuperate, build community, and gather the energy of these summery days. All this, of course, is on top of regular life things like jobs and family and school – PAOV participants are everywhere and always working towards change.

But the revolution is not just an ‘occupy’ thing, it’s not just the students in Quebec or the activists in Syria or Egypt, no, the revolution is everywhere. It was less than a month ago, at Earth Walk, that I heard a whole crowd – seniors, students, children, parents, everyone – speaking loudly and powerfully and saying “I AM THE REVOLUTION“. This is the growing empowerment movement that is being felt across the world and across the country of Canada. These days it seems that people living in Canada are beginning to break free of their apathy, beginning to feel they have a voice and it will make a difference, beginning to feel the empowerment they deserve and shed the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness that are so common under a system like ours (the system wants us to feel helpless). People living in Canada are beginning to take the change into their own hands and demand a stop to the injustices they face. Today, I read about the Cowichan Valley school trustees, who are putting their jobs on the line, in an act of civil disobedience, to fight for children’s rights to quality education.

School board sets up showdown by passing illegal deficit budget

By Lindsay Kines, Times ColonistMay 17, 2012
Cowichan Valley school trustees put their jobs on the line Wednesday night by giving third and final reading to an illegal deficit budget.

The 5-4 vote sets up a possible showdown with the provincial government. The School Act requires boards to pass balanced budgets, and trustees risk being fired for going into the red.

But board chairwoman Eden Haythornthwaite, who voted with the majority, said in a telephone interview following the meeting that she was “serenely happy” with the outcome.

She said trustees will now try to muster community support for their stand.

“As we told everybody, the more community voice we have behind us, the more likely it is we can actually make a deal with the government and not get [fired],” she said.

“I mean, we don’t want to be fired. We really don’t.”

The majority, however, feel they can no longer continue to cut the district’s budget. Instead, they opted to pass a “restoration” budget that would return some of what has been lost over the years, including teacher-librarian time, intensive behaviour teachers and custodial help.

Opponents have warned that the provincial government could remove the board and appoint a public trustee, thereby robbing voters of their voice.

But the majority argues the same law requiring balanced budgets also requires trustees to provide a quality education for students.

Haythornthwaite said the board hopes to meet with the ministry and work out a settlement. She and two trustees met with Deputy Education Minister James Gorman last week.

“I came out of there feeling like these were gentlemen that we could talk to,” she said.

lkines@timescolonist.com

I was impressed today that in the Times Colonist there were not only several articles about protests and movements, but they were also less biased than I have ever seen before, offering information that doesn’t paint the activists as terrorists. I still would not encourage people to get their news from the mainstream media, but I was impressed to see similar stories as are found in independent media (check out The Tyee, The Dominion, Street Newz, or find other sources at independentmedia.ca). This is evidence that people are becoming more comfortable with dissent, becoming more upset with our government and world systems, and becoming active participants in our society.. and I don’t mean contributing to the economy, I mean contributing to the better good of all people and living things.

Empowerment is building, activity is growing, the revolution is everywhere.