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A socially just New Year

Darius Mirshahi | Social Justice Club President | Opinion | January 8th, 2007

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had environmentally sustainable and exploitation-free holidays, and that you are ready to make changes in the world in 2007.

All New Years resolutions should be about making 2007 a better year for all people, not only ourselves. Saving the environment, stopping war, and ending the exploitation of the third world will become the key issues in 2007 as we start seeing more and more negative effects.

Globalization is here, and like it or not, that means that we can no longer be complacent about world affairs. We live in a global village and our habits, culture and lifestyle now affects everyone around the world. The global system is so interconnected that it is easier than ever for one event to bring about a total collapse of the system as a whole. Whether that event is peak oil, environmental degradation, a full-blown world war between all competing interests, a food and water shortage, a global epidemic of disease, or a global economic collapse, we are dangerously close to the brink.

Not only would any of these events lead to a complete collapse of our way of life, but they would also lead to each other and the result would be a disastrous domino effect. Peak oil will lead to world war over this precious resource, which would in turn cause extreme environmental degradation. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people would become refugees, which could fuel a food and water shortage, more wars, epidemics and even a global economic collapse.

In short, one isolated incident can now set off a chain reaction that would lead us towards utter chaos. We do not have the luxury of time, and we can no longer procrastinate. It is extremely important for us all to turn the tide of consumerism, exploitation, pollution, and war before it is too late.

The good news is that people are finally waking up to this reality in mass. We are demanding that climate change be taken seriously, because otherwise it means stronger and more frequent hurricanes like Katrina, it means hundreds of millions of refugees once the ice caps completely melt and flood densely populated areas around the world. People are demanding to be provided alternatives to sweatshop products, and fair trade is growing exponentially to supply that bubbling demand.

We aren't only protesting and demanding things, they are acting as well. This Christmas there was a huge decrease in sales at major corporate stores. People decided to take back the season from the greedy corporations who had highjacked the meaning of Christmas and other religious holidays and turned them into consumer frenzy days.

In the days leading up to Christmas this year, the malls were not crowded; nobody was killing each other for the last Tickle-Me-Elmo, nobody was punched out to get the last Playstation 3 and nobody had the last ‘Nintendo Wii' ripped out of their hands after being savagely beaten in a crowded Future Shop. Even Wal-Mart was forced to drastically reduce some of its prices to lure exploitation-apologists back into their slave castles. People woke up and decided to buy less, or better yet buy nothing, as a statement of discontent with the values being pushed upon them.

The diamond industry was also having a hard time selling their blood-stained stones as the anti-bling movement continues to destroy their lucrative market and seep into the mainstream consciousness through conscious rap music and films such as Lord of War and Blood Diamond.

Our society is also demanding an end to the unjust wars based on lies in Afghanistan and Iraq. As the Democrats appear to be doing nothing with the power the American people have bestowed upon them, hundreds of thousands of people will converge on Washington D.C. on January 27 to demand that these wars end. These wars have severely damaged America's reputation and ravaged it's economy. It is clear that the war in Iraq is lost. It is the new Vietnam.

Be part of history, stand up for humanity, and get active in the fight to save ourselves and our planet. It's the only home we have.
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