The ‘Conversation’ continues… on CJMP
The conversation continues, as Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein’s visit yesterday resonates in the minds of those who attended. This power-couple, as well as dozens of other supporters of CJMP— including lead organizer and commentator Murray Dobbin, emcee Sunshine Coast MLA (and sometimes DJ) Nicholas Simons — donated their time and skills toward this major fundraiser for Powell River Community Radio (CJMP 90.1 FM).
The ‘Conversation’ began at around 12:30 pm when Naomi and Avi joined the crowd outside Powell River’s Recreation Complex Evergreen Theatre, chatting with locals, before the more formal part of the event inside the theatre at 2:00 pm. After some brief introductions and ‘thank you’s by Nicholas Simons, the couple emerged with our own Murray Dobbin, to enthusiastic applause. The topics for the afternoon ranged from updates on Avi Lewis’s film The Take (Naomi Klein wrote and helped produced that film as well), current projects on which the couple are concurrently working dealing with Climate Change, to how the Left should respond to the multiple crises around us with possible solutions and proactive and creative (even theatrical) approaches, as opposed to old tired slogans, national politics and traditional protests that keep the Left responding to the ‘shock doctrine’ of those in power. Instead, the Left must employ its own creative energies to formulate a new parallel world that will supply an attractive alternative, because as Klein suggested ‘we’re all victims of Capitalism’. Local food, a major concern for many in Powell River, was described as the usual ‘gateway drug’ to the transformation.
Of course, there was a shout out to the importance of local media, as Avi Lewis pointed out how a more localized, home-grown and geographically-specific approach to addressing and reframing the issues all around us is so crucial to the re-framing of the conversation around Climate Change and the lack of democracy. The speakers suggested that local solutions to local problems will succeed and reverberate within the larger society, but only with local participation and support; that globalization has obviously failed the planet (and thus humanity), and how re-localization is the trend back to sanity. And support we had, with 44 new members in one afternoon, this was the largest single membership draw for our own little corner of local homegrown media yet, and while the numbers aren’t in yet, the 400-450 people attending have certainly helped set the stage for a new phase in the life of CJMP and community radio here in Powell River!
Many thanks to the volunteers who helped this come together, and especially to Imtiaz Taj who did a lot of the grunt work, as well as having organised the intimate atmosphere. The event was exquisitely run, with free (and volunteer-run) bus service between both ferry terminals (with discounts to ferry ticket holders!), which helped attract some 200 people to Powell River from Courtenay/Comox and the Lower Sunshine Coast just for this event! Thank you to all of you who attended, and for the great questions at the end of the talk, where the Q&A session demonstrated that people from Powell River and beyond — of all ages —are thoughtfully engaged in the conversation; one that is transforming into action in myriad ways, every day.
Keep your ears peeled and your tuner to 90.1 FM (or listen online) for snippets from the ‘Conversation’ in the coming weeks.