For Aug. 26, 2011 R-Town papersBY Jim Harding
On August 16th several hundred people walked the green mile along Regina’s Albert Street, taking their call for a provincial nuclear waste ban to the government. They want an end to the industry group, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), negotiating with northern communities to “host” a nuclear dump without the people of Saskatchewan having any say.
This was the completion of a 20-day, 820 km walk started July 27th from Pinehouse. Along the way walkers made new friendships and networks that bring the north and south closer together. At the front of the colourful parade was a big, blue balloon “earth” encircled by cutouts of the world’s children holding hands. There was much magic as I watched, over the heads of the block-long string of people in front of me, as “the earth” bobbed up and down as its carriers led the way.
And then I remembered a similar walk, thirty-two years ago, on February 22, 1979. Then, walkers carried a huge white elephant, made of paper-mache, to symbolize what they thought of the government’s uranium policies of the day. How much longer, I thought, will it take for us to learn the hard lessons about the toxic economy and start to seriously make the shift towards sustainability?