Posted by: fbristow | July 29, 2009

MARATHON!

Coming this fall..
The Fifty Marathons Campaign
Run for our Rivers

As a cornerstone of our political strategy, Alliance Romaine is launching an ambitious marathon campaign designed to physically and figuratively connect the fates of two separate rivers.

Starting in early September, a team of volunteer athletes will run 42-kilometer relays on a route stretching from James Bay to the Lower North Shore.

The event will kick off at the spectacular Oatmeal Rapids, where the historic and soon-to-be diverted Rupert River crosses the James Bay Highway.

Embodying the traditional role of runner as messenger, the marathoners will transmit the experiences and disappointments of the James Bay Cree communities which have been impacted by forty years of aggressive hydroelectric development on their lands. As we run through the communities of southern and eastern Quebec, we will showcase the struggles of local activists who have fought to protect wild rivers including the Dumoine, the Magpie and the Moisie. We will hold seminars and public presentations to discuss energy strategy, and we will expose the cumulative loss to biodiversity, fisheries, and recreational and cultural values that is occasioned by a policy that involves damming the majority of Quebec’s large rivers.

Divided into a set of approximately fifty marathons, the event will span two thousand kilometers, and last five weeks, before concluding on traditional Innu territory at the spot where the now-threatened Romaine River flows into the St. Lawrence.

This campaign’s aim is to mobilize and give a voice to the large numbers of Quebecers who believe that our rivers should be valued as something more than potential treadmills to produce cheap energy.

Our demands:
1. A halt to the recently-initiated hydroelectric project on the Romaine River
2. A moratorium on hydroelectric dam development, including the Little Mecatina
3. Protected status for the full length of the Romaine River
4. Good-faith land title negotiations with First Nations
5. Adopt a conservation based energy strategy with full public accountability
6. End energy subsidies to big business
7. A system of government grants and incentives to support small-scale renewable energies

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