Monday, July 14, 2014

Chief Beau Dick - Breaking the Coppers.

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Be with Chief Beau Dick breaking the coppers on the steps of parliament in Ottawa, Sunday July 27 2014.
Follow the journey from B.C. at   Occupation Apple Tree.
An old friend of mine is among the group coming across the country with the coppers (which is how I hear of it) but I have never heard of Beau Dick before nor of 'breaking coppers' and so troll around on the Internet trying to gain some understanding.

I watch and listen carefully to these videos which begin to explain what is going on:
        Journey Of The Copper From This Point On. (30 minutes); and,
        The Copper's Journey to Ottawa Begins (1½ minutes).
(Thanks to David Shebib.)
On Beau Dick's Wikipedia page he says, "The copper is a symbol of justice, truth and balance, and to break one is a threat, a challenge and can be an insult. If you break copper on someone and shame them, there should be an apology."

Putting this together with what's in the videos I begin to see it all as a way of forcing the powers that be to publicly explain themselves. This is certainly a step in the right direction.

Chief Beau Dick in Victoria 2013.Chief Beau Dick in Victoria 2013.Chief Beau Dick in Victoria 2013.
Chief Beau Dick & Alexandra Morton.Chief Beau Dick & Alexandra Morton.Chief Beau Dick setting out 2014.

Beau Dick is from Alert Bay. For a moment I confuse this with Hartley Bay (near Gil Island where they sank the Queen of the North, whose courageous residents came out into the dark and stormy night to save strangers, in the channel where Enbridge tells us that the oil tankers will never never never shipwreck) but Alert Bay is 100 miles or so south of Gil Island and Hartley Bay.

He has broken coppers once before - last year on the steps of the BC legislature in Victoria after walking 500 km from Alert Bay - and then, it was in the company of Alexandra Morton. I have followed Alexandra Morton for some years in her efforts to have the negative effects of salmon farming exposed.

So. Substantial people on an important mission.

I read about Trinity St. Paul's United Church (in Toronto) unanimously vowing divestment of their funds from fossil fuel related companies in the UC Observer. (Also available on Christine's blog.)

Let's hear it for the congregation of Trinity St. Paul's. Good on 'em!
There are some excellent resources at the Trinity St. Paul's website including:
        Climate Justice overview; a Primer (pdf); and, a Pamphlet (pdf).

So ... I went along to church on Sunday at Beach United (which is a short walk from where I live) and heard directly from the minister, Abigail Johnson, that Beach United is doing nothing of the kind and haven't thought about it. It was obvious that the question on divestments did not please her. Her sermon was (in part) on mustard seeds. I can only hope that one will sprout.

Next Sunday I think I will ride the streetcar up to Trinity St. Paul's and see for myself what is going on there.

United Church of Canada.UC Observer: Divestment strategy.

There were other, baffling elements in Abigail's sermon. More on this later perhaps.

Today is Alton Lee Wilson's birthday - he would be 112 years old. He was a good man, and a smart one - and he liked to read the comics in the newspaper:
1910 David James & Alton (possibly).1931 Alton & Anetta.1977 Lynn & David & Anetta & Alton & Elizabeth.1978 Alton.

It so happens to be Northrop Frye's birthday too (who would be 102).

Postscript:   My sweet girl sends an email wanting a photo so I ask a kid going by to snap one and get this. Her new baby will likely be born by the time this appears. Ah!
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  1. Hello David,
    Thanks for sharing your blog posting with me. I need to clarify your comment about Beach United Church and divestment. When you asked me about whether Beach was doing the same divestment as Trinity St Paul United, I pointed out a member of the congregation who has been working with our Trustees for the past year on researching ethical investing. You did not wish to connect with her and simply wanted a "yes" or "no" answer from me. So I said "no" in response to your question of whether Beach United has voted to divest fossil fuel investing. When you perceived something that "did not please her" it was the process of our conversation not the topic.

    1. I thought my question was clear and I thought your answer was clear - as they both appear to have been. I thank you for your clarification of the clear.

      If you didn't like the process I am only sorry you didn't say so at the time.

      Be well.