Citizen Action Monitor

Journalist launches campaign to pressure Canada’s progressive groups to unite to defeat Harper

“Unfortunately social activist groups are not showing the initiative to come together”

No 457 Posted by fw, April 13, 2012

In a recent post, I wrote: “Oh, how I would love to see a spontaneous groundswell of Canadians rise up for a Canadian Spring occupation of Parliament Hill. But where are the tangible signs of an embryonic mass movement? Where is a national coalition of progressive voices to lead the way — e.g.,, Council of Canadians, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, National Union of Public and General Employees, CAW, et al?”

Nick Fillmore

Canadian freelance journalist, Nick Fillmore, has decided to take the initiative in a valiant attempt to spur progressives to take action. Given Nick’s impressive journalistic credentials, if he can’t pull this off, can any one person acting more or less independently do what he’s trying to do? Or will it take a different approach?

Nick’s distinguished career includes: editor and producer with the CBC for 18 years, which included the position of Canadian Desk Editor at The National TV News, and head of an investigative journalism unit at CBC Radio’s Sunday Morning program; former member of the THIS Magazine Editorial Board; regular contributor to The Globe and Mail from the Maritimes; former staff member with Reuters in London; and founding member of the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE).

Here’s Nick’s pitch to Canadians to give “One Big Campaign” a shot —

Campaign launched urging activist groups to build ‘One Big Campaign’ by Nick Fillmore, April 12, 2012

A new campaign urging Canadian social activist groups to work together under one massive umbrella to take on the Harper regime and his right-wing supporters is being born!

The Campaign to build ‘One Big Campaign’ (CBOBC) is being launched on Facebook this week.

The goal of this campaign is to pressure Canada’s more than 15,000 progressive groups, union organizations representing more than 4.5 million members, and grassroots groups such as the Occupy Movement to build a giant, cooperative campaign network.

Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, social activist groups are not showing the initiative to come together themselves to form one, big powerful force.

As a first step, individual Canadians are being asked to come forward and provide ideas about how these groups and unions can be encouraged to get together and discuss the idea of forming what we are calling the ‘One Big Campaign’, a non-binding network.

‘One Big Campaign’ would not be a new organization, but a co-operative venture that would bring together the knowledge and campaigning resources of hundreds of organizations for a small number of huge, vital campaigns each year.

The new co-operative campaign would be far more successful against Harper compared to the current practice of individual groups or small networks struggling to hold back the ‘Harper Tide’.

Some of CBOBC’s volunteers were also active with the Catch 22 Harper Conservatives during the 2011 election campaign. While we have a core group of activists, more volunteers are needed to spread the word about the need for ‘One Big Campaign’!

Harper is running amok, cutting dozens of vital programs ranging from health programs to First Nations support to poverty-reduction efforts that had been established by Canadians for more than 50 years ago.

As volunteers of the CBOBC, we strongly believe:

  • We need to convince hundreds of public interest groups that they must come together and work together in the lead up to the 2015 election.
  • Organization leaders must look beyond the goals and objectives of their own groups and see the big picture.
  • Progressive groups and labour must acknowledge their common interests, break out of their isolation, and begin working together in a meaningful way for the first time ever.
  • Labour organizations need to leave their old rivalries at the door and come into a new, cooperative movement that would have significant benefits for working people.

If a majority of the country’s progressive and labour groups came together, the number of people under one big umbrella could total close to 6-million Canadians – more than the number of votes Harper received in the 2011 election.

The creation of ‘One Big Campaign’ would lift the spirits of millions of Canadians who have all but lost hope in the disastrous Harper era. Instead of complaining about what Harper is doing, people and all kinds of organizations would have something positive to work for.

Join the CBOBC Facebook page and give us your thoughts and comments. Tell your friends – ask them to make a contribution. Volunteer to help spread the word.

Our country as we know it is in danger of slipping out from underneath us – let’s organize to take it back.

Two articles making the case for the creation of ‘One Big Campaign’ have been updated –

How massive ‘One Big Campaign’ could defeat Harper Conservatives –  looks at how the activist community could go about developing a co-operative network, discusses some of the weaknesses of the community, and explains that groups taking part in a big campaign should not be afraid of retribution from the Conservatives if they follow the law.

Social activist groups can form powerful ‘One Big Campaign’ to take on Harper  – describes how a typical campaign – this one concerning income disparity – could be carried out taking advantage of the many strengths of both progressive and labour groups.

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