Claire Martin

Activating Your Belief System – by Claire.

Let me preface this by saying that I am NOT an activist.

In fact, I am rarely “fervent” about anything, actually.

But on Jan 21, 2017 my inner civil-protestor rose up!

Here’s the backstory.

I woke up on Saturday 21st ready to “march”.. very unaware of what was happening around the world. I expected – maybe – 5000 in Vancouver. I expected to see “familiar faces”.

The Seabus was packed. The feeling was jovial.

I am lucky enough to know someone who works on the route, so we sat and chatted. Just this year she had written .. a personal vision statement. She read it to me as we crossed the inlet, and as she sat reading, surrounded by strangers,  I realized that “something” was happening. She echoed a sentiment, an ache we all feel.. to be connected to be a bigger, better “thing”.

I was already goose-bumpy by the time I disembarked.

A few minutes later I stood in Jack Poole Plaza – surrounded by very very normal, nondescript people.

We listened to music, we heard speeches.. we yelled in agreement to the calls for action, and we agreed that we would pick up the garbage en route.

So with “the” people, some in pink hats, most in comfortable shoes, I realized that American call “we, the people” means something else to all of us. It means that “we” stand up in a dignified way when the need arises; that “we” stand together as one; that “we” is inclusive; that “we” is incredibly powerful when pulling together; that “we”, no matter what the issue, will rise above adversity.

I walked and silently wept.

I am so proud of all the activists and non-activists that walked in Vancouver on Jan 21, 2017.

Apparently there were 10, 000+ of us.


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  • Reply Caroline January 22, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Glad you were there, I was at Tia Chi, will plan for the next event that ensures equal rights for all

    • Reply Claire January 23, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      Looking forward to having you!

  • Reply Rick Jemmett January 22, 2017 at 10:56 am

    The experience in Toronto was similar. I boarded the E-W subway line at Kipling and within a few stops the train was ‘rush-hour’ full of cheerful, energized people, headed to the downtown protest. On arriving at Queen’s Park, a massive crowd was already there, evidently 60,000 strong. Throughout the afternoon I was repeatedly struck by the vibe this enormous, ‘multi-denominational’ crowd was giving off… a sincerity of purpose, connection & goodwill that I’d never seen before in big old ‘shields-up’ Toronto. It was truly heartwarming.

    • Reply Claire January 23, 2017 at 1:20 pm

      Wow, big crowd. Thanks for sharing your experience.. it binds us.

  • Reply Janet Zhu January 22, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Thanks Claire for sharing your story.

    • Reply Claire January 23, 2017 at 1:20 pm

      Thank you too!

  • Reply wirlwindmusic January 22, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Don’t kid yourself about not being an activist. You had the courage to run for office! AND for Green Party, the MOST activisty of activist parties. Let activist not hold the stigma any more that Conservatives have tried to colour it with (radical, angry, nasty …). Let’s embrace it. I AM an activist and a nasty woman an I’m damn proud of it. The self-branding of the ND “Water Protectors” is brilliant! Did you hear the Ashley Judd spoken word poem in Washington? It was fan-freakin’tastic!

    • Reply Claire January 23, 2017 at 1:22 pm

      I did! I did! The whole day, the whole movement, the sheer numbers, the vast spectrum of people coming together made me feel great. Fan-freakin’ tastic!!

  • Reply Linda February 9, 2017 at 11:01 am

    When there is an imbalance of fair play nothing will change if nothing is said to correct it. If people actively stand together, in Canada, more than anywhere else I’ve lived, you have a chance to be heard.

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