From Bridge to Cool Planet to End the Arms Race

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Bridge to a Cool Planet marchers occupy hill at Science World as MLA Spencer Herbert checks messages.

Vancouver’s 1980s peace movement had a decided green tinge to begin with, a No Nukes flavour that morphed quickly into a mass peace movement called End the Arms Race, so broad that both Mike Harcourt and Gordon Campbell marched in the front row with labour, community, religious and peace activists.

Today’s movement to control climate change is back to the future. While the 1980s marches may have helped avert the planet’s end in a series of hot, bright flashes, we’re now in the industrial age’s slow cooker, and all powers, not just superpowers, must be part of the solution.

So it seemed fitting that Cambie Bridge was closed at noon for thousands to seek a Bridge to a Cool Planet, and a hour later a much smaller gathering stood at the south end of Seaforth Park, near the city’s peace flame, where Park Commissioner Stuart MacKinnon helped Vancouver and District Labour Council president Bill Saunders unveil a monument to Kinuko Laskey.

A survivor of Hiroshima, Laskey emigrated to Vancouver, where she refused to talk about her experiences for many years. Ultimately, however, she felt inspired to speak out and became a powerful voice in the city’s mobilization against nuclear war.

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The Kinuko Laskey monument unveiled today at Seaforth Park by the Vancouver and District Labour Council.