March 22 is World Water Day and to mark this day, CUPE, the Council of Canadians, KAIROS, Development and Peace and other organizations across the country will take part in a national day of action to promote the right to water as a public good – not a source of profit.
Last year, CUPE members participated in World Water Day events, many in partnership with KAIROS and the Council of Canadians. These activities included potlucks, film showings and water ceremonies. We hope to do even more this year. There are many things that you can do to mark World Water Day.
A list of events is posted here.
Don’t see your community on the list? Here are some ideas:
Send a message supporting the right to water. Take part in our joint online action targeting Prime Minister Stephen Harper and your Member of Parliament. Once you’ve sent your messages, ask your friends, family, neighbours and coworkers to visit www.actforwater.ca as well. There’s a tool on the site to share the link around.
Submit an op/ed to your community paper. A draft op/ed is available to be customized for your community. Contact local Council of Canadians and Kairos representatives to get them to co-sign the piece. Get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Film screenings. This year, the National Film Board of Canada’s CITIZENshift is producing a DVD of documentaries on water issues available for screenings across Canada. CUPE is co-sponsoring several of the screenings. A full list is available here.
Walk for Water. Organize a Walk for Water ceremony to commemorate World Water Day. Visit www.kairoscanada.org and follow their easy steps to organizing a Walk for Water
Sponsor a municipal declaration. Call on your local government to recognize water as a human right. Many activists have already done this successfully. Use World Water Day as an opportunity to add your community to the list or to visit your town council to remind them of their pledge to public water. Development and Peace is tracking municipalities that have endorsed the declaration.
Promote books on water. The filmmakers that made Thirst – the documentary that was the focus of so many WWD events in 2006 – are launching a new book that describes examples of community resistance to water privatization. The book (also titled Thirst) will be available by March 22nd. Work with your local library or bookstore to obtain and launch Thirst, the book, published by Wiley Canada. Click here to download information about Thirst.
You can also host a book club. We recommend that you feature Water, Inc. by Varda Burstyn. This fictional tale about bulk water exports is by a Canadian author and political observer.A book club is an easy event to hold in your home or community centre. The book’s web site has some questions to get you started on a great discussion.
Whatever you organize, keep CUPE posted by emailing email@example.com. Let us know what kind of event you are planning so we can share success stories across the country. Don’t forget to take pictures of your event and send them to us. But most important of all, have fun!/>