Tuesday, September 29, 2009

UN International Day of Peace; Save Our Healthcare

I had the privilege of taking part once again in the UN International Day of Peace on September 21. Held over the noon hour at City Hall Plaza, we had a great turnout. Students from Belgravia Elementary School sang for us, speakers told about the importance of peace, and yes, I sang "I Only Ask of God." Here are the photos. I videoed the whole event and broke it down speaker by speaker:

Belgravia Elementary School sings "Shalom" (2:47)
City Councillor Amarjeet Sohi with the Proclamation (5:58)
Raising the Flag (0:33)
Students with the group Global Effects (1:57)
Paula Kirman Sings "I Only Ask of God" (4:55)
Keynote Speaker David King, Redefining the Peace Movement (13:37)
Sharon Ingraham, Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Committee (2:36)
Raging Grannies - Circle Round for Peace (1:25)

September 21 was also the International Day of Action on Climate Change, and several "flash mobs" were held throughout the city. A flash mob is when a group of people come together and do something short and attention-getting for a few minutes. Then, as quickly as they came together, they disperse. The Raging Grannies staged a flash mob shortly following the peace event. They brought with them a bucket of what represented bitumen (the dirty oil created in the tar sands) and decided to spread it around. Here is a look - yuck!

On Friday, for the first time ever I traveled out of town to attend an activist event. OK, it was only to Fort Saskatchewan, but it was quite the drive nonetheless. Friends of Medicare was holding a rally to Save Our Healthcare outside of Premier Ed Stelmach's office. The organization bused in six loads from Edmonton. As well, a lot of Fort Sask locals were in attendance. All told, there were around 500 people there. Ed Stelmach was not in his office (and if he was, he likely would not have come out), but it made quite a media impact nonetheless. Here are the photos and a short video.

This past weekend, the Kaleido Festival was held on Alberta Avenue. It was a free family festival and featured music, food, visual art, performance art, and much more. Billed as "Edmonton's biggest block party," it is a great initiative in this area that is currently under revitalization. Here are some photos.

In life otherwise, I can't get enough of Oysterband and The Skydiggers, both bands I saw at this summer's Edmonton Folk Music Festival.

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