Global PowerShift Day 1

After departing Halifax at 1630 on June 23rd, I arrived in Istanbul, Turkey, the following day at 1330.  The visa and customs process was insane, with hundreds of people waiting in long ques to visit the city that was first established in 660 BC as Byzantium, reestablished as Constantinople in 330 CE, and is now the second largest city in the world (by population within city limits) with a permanent population of 13.5 million.  And although this city and country have facsinated me for years, I was not here to sightsee, I was here for a different reason.

 

After departing Halifax at 1630 on June 23rd, I arrived in Istanbul, Turkey, the following day at 1330.  The visa and customs process was insane, with hundreds of people waiting in long ques to visit the city that was first established in 660 BC as Byzantium, reestablished as Constantinople in 330 CE, and is now the second largest city in the world (by population within city limits) with a permanent population of 13.5 million.  And although this city and country have facsinated me for years, I was not here to sightsee, I was here for a different reason.

Global Power Shift is an international climate summit, bringing together youth activists from all parts of the world; from large states such as Canada, USA, and India, to tiny states such as the Maldives, Nepal, and the island nations of Oceania, this is truly a global event.  I am one of 9 Canadians at the summit, 5 of which are participants, the other 4 are acting as facilitators and organizers for the event.  Our backgrounds are unique, with mine being focussed more in the labour movement, while others' experience comes from organizing climate summits in Canada and Quebec, Idle No More, politics, and beyond!  Our goal this week, will be to further our skills so that we can return to Canada and Quebec and organize regional Power Shift summits that will educate and train thousands of youth over the next 2 years.

Day one in Istanbul was about getting settled, registering, and being welcomed to the city and summit.  GPS is being held at Istanbul Technological University, with participants staying in the dormitories and attending workshops, plenaries, and panels on campus at a variety of locations.  Over dinner each region got together and developed a skit/song/dance to share with the other participants.  Being from Canada, we are a part of the Americas region, which includes all countries from North, Central, South America, and the Carribean. It was fantastic to see all the different cultures sharing their music, dance, and language!

Day two is when all participants began workshops, ranging from Policy (which I am in) to Non-Violent Direct Action to Online Organizing Campaigns.

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