Impressive start to a weekend of bringing together diverse social movements. The theme: Build Together—Win Together—The Future Is Ours!
Ottawa (21 Aug. 2014)—The first day of the Peoples' Social Forum (PSF) in Ottawa got off to a roaring start! Thousands of activists and progressive-minded people from coast-to-coast gathered in the city to share, discuss, debate, and decide on action for the future.
The event is being touted as the largest gathering of activists in Canada's history. It is providing a meeting space for people from Canada, Quebec and Aboriginal communities to find common cause.
The National Union at the PSF
Larry Brown, National Secretary-Treasurer of the 340,000-member National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), spoke on one of the first panels of the PSF. The topic was "Corporate Trade and Investment Agreements: An attack on people’s rights, the commons and democracy", and featured speakers who looked at various aspects of international trade agreements.
"I was pleased with the session this morning," Brown said afterwards. "Good attendance and great interest from those there."
NUPGE is also hosting a workshop on it's All Together Now! campaign. In addition, members from a number of NUPGE Components are in attendance and conducting their own workshops on a variety of issues.
Large rally energizes participants
In the afternoon, participants marched through the streets of Ottawa to Parliament Hill. Two marches, one starting in Gatineau, Quebec, and the other starting at the War Museum, converged and marched up to the seat of Canada's government.
Both speakers and marchers expressed their disapproval of the policies of the Conservative government and condemned the attacks on public services, women's services, charitable organizations, Aboriginal peoples, Veterans, Foreign Workers, newcomers and a large range of other organizations and groups.
Below are some pictures from today's events. Check back for more pictures to be added.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE