LETTER: People—not politicians—lead the change

Millions of people put that hopelessness aside and demanded action…

To the Editor,

I feel compelled to write to you today and express hope in what all too often seems like a hopeless time. As we watch our salmon struggle to reach their spawning grounds or our weather behaving in unprecedented and increasingly destructive ways, so much of this weighs down upon us. Not only as a world and society, but even right here in our small town, it can all feel overwhelming.

Yet, on Friday, September 20, and then again on the 27th, millions of people in nearly every country and continent on the planet took to the streets to put that hopelessness aside and demand action. It is not possible for one person to do enough to make the changes that are needed, but society, through concerted effort from all sectors of civil society and government, can.

There have never been demonstrations of this size across the entire world for a single issue that affects us all on this earth. Children, adults, working people and business owners all participated.

Some will claim the demonstrators are naîve or idealistic. Others might even insist there is nothing wrong at all, but the days of those voices having any legitimacy should now be history.

The children who rallied here in Port Alberni and around the world and the adults who stood behind them are filled with hopeful purpose and our governments must acknowledge that and move forward quickly, bravely and decisively.

Perhaps our problem this whole time was assuming government would lead, but the largest issues of society have never been solved by a politician leading people—it has been from people demanding change.

The people have found their leaders, and now, regardless of political persuasion, it is time for all levels of government to follow.

Chris Alemany,

Port Alberni

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