Activist Alphabet

Book, 2019, 175 pp
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“How does it happen that a rather shy and not-terribly-brave individual finds herself getting arrested on Parliament Hill? Why does a woman who prefers to commune with pole beans all summer end up laboriously writing speeches to present at City Hall? There is no need for this. I am 74 years old, elderly. It would be more suitable for me to spend my remaining days quietly reading novels than singing protest songs. What happened?”


These are the questions that sometimes plague Donna Sinclair. A widely-travelled, award-winning journalist for more than 27 years, now retired, Sinclair could easily sit back and simply enjoy her garden, her grandkids, and her remaining years with her husband.


Yet that is not what she has chosen to do. Sinclair, like an ever increasing number of her peers, as well as younger people the world over, has chosen the path of activism. But why?


“I am not alone with these questions. Most activists, I am convinced, do not wake up one morning and say to themselves, ‘I think I will spend today, and perhaps the rest of my life, antagonizing large corporate bodies – with untold amounts of money to spend – and even some of my neighbours, so that I don’t get enough sleep and am constantly making anguished trade-offs about how I will spend my time.’


“This book is an effort to figure out why and how environmental activists fall passionately in love with a lake, a river, or a planet and its people. It’s a primer, or an alphabet, on how to stay strong enough to keep putting that love into action, over and over.  

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