This February 22nd, in Niagara Falls, the People Were Outside – Thousands of Them – and They’ve Got a lot of Beefs With You!
(This post reflects on the massive‘People Vs. Conservative Cuts’ Rally that took place outside the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario this past Saturday, February 22nd, while members of Ontario’s Ford government were inside, holding a two-day “policy convention.)
By Linda Babb, Niagara Falls resident, community activist and host of the popular online site, The Peoples’ Platform
Posted February 24th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
THIS is COMMUNITY COMING TOGETHER!
THIS is “holding space”, “holding and building the “vision” for what we can ALL create together.
Yes – there are “aspects” we dislike.
Yes – we are human and we complain about “stuff” that goes on.
But THIS is what happens when, as Kyle Hoskin says, we break free of the silos and what we think separates us. Collectively “people” do change things. Let’s keep that in mind as we progress towards a strong, liveable, vibrant community for everyone.
Now here is a great take on the massive February 22nd protest rally in Niagara Falls by Niagara resident and member of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1287 Kyle Hoskin –
These last three weeks have been a blur. So much organizing, so much planning. But it’s been worth it. Never mind the rally. The work leading up to it was the best part. Organizing and mobilizing this community these last two weeks has been the proudest moment one of my life.
We built new relationships and new networks. Groups who before now who may have had silos have broken them. But recognizing this, it’s important to keep moving forward. This is the bigger plan and in my opinion the most important part of this process.
This rally was an organizing and mobilizing chance of a lifetime. These rallies do not happen in Niagara. When I first got the call, I was blown away that the OFL planned this, here. But once the shock passed, it was full blown go time.
In the last 3 weeks we held two meetings to organize. The first not more than 6 days after being told, with a new local record of 46 people in attendance. The second a week later with nearly 78 people which is beyond unheard of in Niagara. This doesn’t happen here. EVER. These are new milestones.
We dropped three banners on the highways with only a few days to plan them. We handed out thousands of leaflets and held days and days of canvasses. Organized groups to hit as many picket lines as possible. Bus routes to supplies. I also organized a sign and banner making event for the community which alone had 20 people in attendance. Also a record for this sort of event.
But from the beginning I seen this as a way to bridge the gap between labour and the community. The two sides of this need each other. We just needed to get them both in the same room, and we did that. We went beyond that. What we achieved here was literally the unachievable. This shouldn’t have been possible. But even here in Niagara we built an army of volunteers, community members, labour leaders and local elected officials to step up and take the challenge.
The people in these photos, these are the ones who make these things happen. These are the people who make change. This is a movement built upon people. I’m proud to be supported by people like these.
This is where I gain my strength. I can overcome any challenge when I have the support in the community like I do today. As an organizer, a mobilizer, I get my energy from the love and appreciation each and every person has for the work we do. These people are my strength. They are why we do the work that we do. I am so proud of you all.
We achieved something huge here. I’m so god damn proud to have been part of this. I can’t wait to see what we do next ✊🏼
For more information on The Peoples’ Platform, visit the site by clicking on – https://www.facebook.com/groups/peoplesplatformnf/
For a CBC report on the Ford Policy Convention and the Peoples’ Protest outside, click on – https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ont-pc-convention-1.5472678
NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.
A Reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.
For More News And Commentary From Niagara At Large – An independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara Region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at http://www.niagaraatlarge.com .