May 22

May 1, 2013 – Week #21

May 1

My kids had a half day of elementary school today, so I had to bring them to the protest. They were not thrilled to come, but I promised them a trip to the candy store afterward. Since their birth, my kids have attended protests, rallies, pickets and demonstrations. They have helped me hold up banners, put up posters and pass out leaflets. I talk regularly to my kids about peace, social justice and environmental issues, so they know about my weekly protest against the warships.

With my kids in tow, I decided to protest across the street because there is a small green space that they can sit and play and is a safer distance away from the traffic.

When we arrived, I was so amazed to see that a stranger was there to protest with us! A nice young guy named Jeff had heard about my protest, checked out my web site and wanted to stand in solidarity.

A little while later Heather and Kelly joined us. It is amazing to think that we are a group of strangers who are standing together in our opposition to the federal government wasting billions of tax dollars on warships. We have only met each other because of this protest outside the Irving Shipyard.

I let the group know about the essay contest that I launched for high school students. I’m giving out money and prize packs to the top three essays that answer the question, “Instead of spending $25 billion to build new warships for the navy at the Irving shipyard in Halifax, how could the Canadian government invest our tax dollars to make our society and our economy greener, more equitable, and more peaceful?”

Then we went up to Julien’s Cafe together to chat some more about the issues that matter.

We received 21 honks and waves. 1 swear and 1 thumbs down.

Dedication: Today is May Day! International Workers Day! In 2013, hundreds of poor Bangladeshi garment workers sewing Joe Fresh, Children’s Place & Benetton clothes were killed by the collapse of a dilapidated factory. In 1934, the largest strike in US history was the textile workers strike demanding safer and fairer conditions. It is a long brutal history of workers struggling for decency and dignity. There is an important interview with Charlie Kernaghan, director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, on Democracy Now! Listen here.