The Peaceful Direct Action Coalition will host an event for anyone in the Comox Valley who is feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and occasionally defeated in the work they are doing to build a better community.
The event is the first in a series of community healing events the group is planning. The second, called Victory Day, will be a celebration of all the successes that have been achieved.
“We have an incredible community of people working to make things better,” says Kel Kelly, a spokesperson for the group. “They are working at daycares, in schools, in social change groups, in the environmental movement, in agriculture. They are everywhere, and they are the unsung heroes who make this community tick.
“It’s been a hard year for a large number of people working in these community groups and organizations,” Kelly says.
“Senior levels of government continue to cut back on supportive policies and funding for community groups, especially those working for environmental and social sustainability. Individuals are being asked to do more and more work on a volunteer basis. People are exhausted.”
In addition, says Kelly, pressures to destroy the essential fabric of the community continue to grow. He cites the flurry of activity over coal mining, the recent closure of Stotan Falls by a developer, the loss of Lannan Forest, the elimination of environmental assessments, and the recent federal omnibus bills as a few examples.
Grieving Time is being hosted to give anyone who needs it a chance to share their heartache, their desperation and their fear with a larger group of people who share some of the same values.
“We are often so busy with our work that we don’t take the time to share our difficult feelings with others”, says Kelly. “Once we have the chance to do that, we can pick ourselves up, refreshed, and move on to the next piece of work.”
Kelly stresses that the event is just a first step in a community healing process. The second event, called Victory Day, will be held in the fall.
“Once we get the grief off our chests, it will be time to celebrate,” he says. “That is another thing that we don’t take enough time to do. We are planning a big community party to share stories of the incredible successes our community has achieved.”
The Grieving Time event will take place July 28 at the community hut at Kin Beach, beginning at 3 p.m. Stories will be shared in a ceremonial circle with all who attend, and then people will have a chance to share in smaller groups.
Professional counsellors will ensure safety and comfort for every participant. Any person who wishes to attend is welcome.
The group work will be followed by a community potluck picnic. People are encouraged to bring a dish to share. There will be no charge for the event, but donations are welcome.
The Peaceful Direct Action Coalition was formed three years ago to forge deeper relationships between Comox Valley groups, to educate on the issues of civil rights and responsibilities, and to mobilize and encourage Comox Valley citizens to actively participate in building a more democratic community.
— Peaceful Direct Action Coalition