Its the day after RAN’s OfficeMax and Grand & Toy day of action, yesterday OfficeMax and Grand & Toy locations across the United States and Canada heard hundreds of activists demand that the stores publicly support a moratorium in Grassy Narrows.
Here are a few of the latest updates:
In Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 25 people came out in -40 Celsius weather to support Grassy Narrows. Activists also signed letters that they plan to send to OfficeMax CEO Sam Duncan.
In Toronto, Ontario Ryerson University’s Journalists for Human Rights chapter hosted a great action and sent this summary:
At around 4 p.m., five of our chapter members set off from Ryerson happily laden with posters, flyers and caribou antlers and ready to protest. Despite the frigid temperatures and wicked wind, we were very keen to get out there and help spread the message for Grassy.
When we got to the Yonge and Eglinton Grand & Toy location, we first went into the store covertly in pairs or singly to stick the RAN flyers into notebooks and piles of paper. (That was an idea Carmelle Wolfson passed on to us – thanks to Carmelle and her friend!) We were able to distribute a lot of the materials that way, and I enjoyed picturing surprised customers pulling the flyers out of their products and calling Grand & Toy to encourage them to support Grassy. While I was doing the second round of distribution, I also saw an employee find one of the flyers and read it over. I don’t know what she thought of the message, but she definitely read it thoroughly and took it somewhere for the perusal of other staff members.
Next, two people from our group went back into the store to give the prepared letter to the manager. They said she was very willing to listen to them about Grassy, and she faxed the letter to head office. I hope the head office heard many, many voices today.
Then we braved the cold for a while in the plaza outside the store, where our caribou antlers attracted a lot of attention and made a few people willing to risk frozen fingers to sign our petition. The antlers also gained us sympathy points – when the mall’s security officers came to kick us off the mall property (and onto the sidewalk a foot away), one of our petition-signers told us that we shouldn’t it personally because the officers just wanted to see the antlers! Thanks for sending those our way, Annie!
Though we didn’t last quite as long outside as we wanted to (and we’re very sorry about that), we did manage to hand out a lot more flyers and collect some signatures at that point. But we hope to take the petition to a few of our upcoming events to get more, and we’ll fax it to head office as soon as it gets big enough to make a statement.
All in all, we felt we made a good impact on that store and the people in the area at the time, and we join everyone in hoping that this attention will make a real difference for the people of Grassy and their traditional lands.
In Vancouver, British Columbia activists also had a great time and sent a short and thoughtful summary:
The action in Vancouver went very well and it was fun! I delivered a letter to the manager and we stood outside with our signs and our flyers. People were receptive and I think we may have gotten some phone calls out of the crowd and some people to stop buying grand and toy brand paper…people also said that they were going to get their companies to change brands of paper. We were in a pretty high traffic area. The action team all felt very positive about the action. It was great to get out there and talk to people. So often we think that we are powerless…but this reminds me that all we have to do is start talking to people…get out on the street and engage people in a discussion…tell them the facts. Help the shift happen…raise the
consciousness. It was a great action to be a part of.
Check back for more updates as we continue to receive pictures and action updates from activists across North America!