Thank you for this award.
I’d like to begin by saying that we are doing the work of water protection but we are guests on these lands where we do this work. We are based out of what is now called Guelph which sits within the Dish with One Spoon Treaty Lands and the Haldimand Tract treaty lands with the Mississauga of the New Credit. It is our obligation as guests and water protectors to build and strengthen relationships with the original stewards of these lands and to become allies and accomplices wherever possible.
Taking on the huge multi-national corporations that we do as a small grass roots organization is a David and Goliath fight. And in this moment I am reflecting that most of the leadership to protect water that I have experienced is led by women – and that this comparison of David and Goliath is not doing us all justice. Yet right now I am failing in coming up with a cultural narrative that might take its place, so I am going to say it’s a struggle of 'Davida and Goliath' proportions.
You need five things to defeat Goliath:
- A good strategy – there was only one spot where Goliath was not armored
- Good aim
- Slingshots and smooth deadly pebbles
- Deep and abiding values
We have good strategy, a good aim, an abundance of courage and the deep knowing that water is for Life and not profit.
We organize people to make slingshots, gather pebbles and aim with accuracy.
Maybe most importantly we give them the confidence to confront Goliath!
Wellington Water Watchers needs more money to organize and support more Davida’s in their campaigns to protect water from corporate Goliaths.
Nestlé is a Goliath.
Nestlé spends BILLIONS on public relations and government lobbying. Nestlé’s global budget for PR (7+ billion/2018) is almost twice the entire budget of the World Health Organization ($4 billion/2020)
Nestlé spends some of their money a war room – staffed with 15 staff people who monitor news and social media 24/7 for mentions of Nestlé and classify them as red, yellow or green. Next to the war room is a news studio where they can immediately pump out their propaganda.
We cause a lot of red lights to flash in Nestlé’s war room
We learned that in 2016 our campaign was so effective Nestlé’s global HQ fired their Canadian PR people and took control of the PR against us in Switzerland.
The success of our Nestlé campaign means more grass roots groups come to us and ask for support. For example, we are now helping 4 communities to fight aggregate applications. Aggregate extraction may in fact be the #1 threat to groundwater in Ontario. 70%+ of aggregate in Ontario is mined by multinational corporations with headquarters in Europe and Brazil.
Protecting water in Ontario means fighting lots of multinational Goliaths and resisting Doug Fords agenda to open the environment to development. We have the courage to lead these fights to protect water.
A donation to the WWW means more Davida’s, more slingshots and pebbles, more pain to the Goliaths who threaten water security in Ontario, more resistance to Doug Ford’s agenda and most importantly, more of us coming together in solidarity around the sacred nature of water, the source of all life.
I want to close by saying that as water protectors, we stand in solidarity with the Hereditary Chiefs of Wet’suwet’en.
Thank you for recognizing our work with this award.
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