from Knowing the Land is Resistance
We first heard of the Mega Quarry years ago, while traveling in the Collingwood area. Local environmentalists were talking about a proposed quarry just to the south, a quarry larger than any ever dug in this country, so large it could swallow much of downtown Toronto and so deep that it would be taller than Niagara Falls. It was a nightmare vision – beyond the smog of thousands of trucks, across the polluted springs fed by poisoned aquifers, a devastating wound in the earth would extend past the horizon.
On Sunday October 16th we hopped on a bus from Hamilton to Foodstock, organized by a new group called Stop the Mega Quarry-Hamilton. The event was organized by the Canadian Chefs Congress and local activists fighting the quarry. Over a hundred chefs prepared food grown on the lands threatened by the quarry. Billed as a day to ‘stop the mega quarry’ and ‘save the land that feeds us’, by best estimates it attracted 28-30,000 people to one of the adjacent farmlands that has refused to sell.
Our goal for the day was to meet and connect with other people who are organizing or who want to organize around stopping the Mega Quarry. This struggle could likely intensify in the coming years, and it’s useful to be able to build up a strong, regional network before the pressure is really on.
Sam, a member of Stop the Mega Quarry-Hamilton, explained the group’s focus to be “bringing an anti-colonial analysis to the organizing against the quarry, and to emphasize the need for a watershed scale resistance not just to this particular quarry, but to the whole agregate industry and the runaway culture of endless growth that depends on it”.
When seeking to defend a piece of land, one of our first responsibilities is to understand its history and our place in it – without that bigger picture, we risk making serious mistakes while rushing towards some seeming solution. Sam explains what this has meant for No Mega Quarry-Hamilton: “In order to bring our strengths as a group to the process of resisting the quarry, we laid out three priorities our group is best suited to focus on, as you can see in the handbill we are sharing around today”.