September 20, 2017 @ 1:00 PM
The past year has been a terrifying political moment. In a world in which the world’s largest greenhouse-gas emitting nation is led by a climate change denier, and our own prime minister is determined to work with him on forcing through the Keystone XL pipeline; in which words like “fascism” have re-entered mainstream political discourse and words like “reconciliation” don’t quite seem sufficient to cover them up; in which Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday while the government fails to respect the most basic requirements of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and our own university continues to invest in the fossil fuel corporations that extract on stolen land, it may seem that those who would stand up to destruction and oppression are losing ground on every front.
But this is also a moment for hope–hope that we can seize this moment of crisis and the burgeoning spirit of resistance, imagine a different way forward, and make that vision a reality.
Before the last federal election, representatives from Canadian labour groups, environmental organizations, Indigenous activists, and other social movements came together to create a consensus document, the Leap Manifesto: a plan for a just transition to a sustainable economy, that takes direct aim at the intertwined, roots of the climate crisis and the economic, racial, and colonial injustices that our profit-driven system continues to perpetuate.
Leap UofT is the Leap’s local campus chapter. We’re relaunching UofT’s fossil fuel divestment campaign in September, but we also understand that saying “no” to what we don’t want–to dirty investments, to an extractive, exploitative economy–is not enough. So we’re using the opportunity provided by DisOrientation as a platform to create a vision of the university, and the world, that we do want. This year’s DisO theme is “The Art of Solidarity,” and the art we will be exploring here is that of narrative. In the face of the austerity logic that allows educational institutions to be run like corporations, how can we build a different story?
On Wednesday, September 20, from 1-3pm, we will be holding a collaborative gathering to localize the Leap. After an introduction to climate justice organizing, and using the fifteen demands of the original Manifesto for inspiration, we will work together to draw up a similar list that is specific to the UofT campus, a shared set of values that would facilitate solidarity organizing and putting pressure on the university administration.
The draft “UofT Leap Manifesto” will be sent to all participants for a round of editing, and ratified at a later meeting. At any point after that, any group can endorse the manifesto by sending us an email (see below). We want to ensure that existing campus organizations that want to be involved have time to discuss what demands they would want to see in the manifesto and/or prepare to send representatives to the workshop. If you want to participate as a campus group or send us demands that should be included, please get in touch!
Questions? Want to get involved? Email email@example.com or find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/leapuoft/ !
More information on the Leap: www.leapmanifesto.org; https://take.theleap.org
DisOrientation and DisO event schedule: http://www.opirgtoronto.org/
Live note-taking will be provided; please contact us with any other accessibility questions or concerns