IT’S EARTH DAY!!! -Jonathan Z.

So, yeah. Today’s Earth day. I guess you all know that now. It’s also Good Friday, but not everybody celebrates the day Jesus died. Moving on.

Since it’s Friday, I was supposed to do a post about our week, but…. the week lasted all of two days, so I guess there wouldn’t really be a lot to cover. So back to Earth Day!

Where do I stand for the whole Save-the-environment-thing? I’m all for it, as long as it’s within reason. Recycling? Sure. Limiting Waste? Definitely. Chaining yourself to a tree in front of a smoke-spewing bulldozer? Ehh…. Not so much. You have to admire the people who spend their life protecting the environment, though.

Although protestors don’t actually chain themselves to a tree (at least, not that I know of), they do take it upon themselves to protect trees in much, much cooler ways. Environmental enthusiasts have been taking the childhood joy of making a treehouse, and turning it into a literal home.

Tree-sitting, as it’s officially called (can this be considered official?), is basically setting up a home up in the trees. Your adoring fans (and very unamused policemen) watch, from 100 feet below, as you painstakingly climb up the tree, and begin building your cabin in the sky.

Some of the most amazing cases of tree sitting include:

  May 2006- 25 protesters who were against an urban extension of a town set up shop in the endangered trees for not 1, not 2, but 4 years! Eventually, they got what they wanted; in May 2010, the city counsel unanimously to stop the extension.

     February 1998- November 2003: These guys didn’t just set up one tree-sit; they set up a tree-village! They had everything from communications to toilets to hydroponic sprout farms! And yes, to this day, the trees there remain green and tall.

Don’t think that every tree-sit is successful; this one… might make you wince a bit.

2010: A group of protesters in Ukraine started to climb trees in order to stop the building of a road. It seems like the builders didn’t really care, though: they started cutting down the trees, while people were still on them!

So, yeah. Supporting Earth Day and the environment? Definitely. Climbing trees to stop logging? No. So, With that in mind….

Happy Green Day!

Where is the Love? – Kelly

We all have our differences. I am a female; you might not be. I have brown hair; you might be blonde. I am very short, and you might be quite tall. But these differences are all skin deep. I love to dance, but you might like sports. I hate tomatoes, and they may be your favourite food.

One particular difference, though, has always defined me.

I am Jewish.

When I was very young, I was ecstatic to be known for this one big difference. In my elementary school in a suburb of Vancouver, my sister and I were the only Jewish kids. We did presentations about Hanukkah every year, we taught our peers about Jewish culture, and we got to pride ourselves in our differences.

It was amazing.

Then my sister went to middle school, and I was faced with the cruel reality of racism for the first time in my life. Students in my sister’s class were selected to paint banners, which were posted on the light standards around my city. My sister was asked to volunteer for this. She chose to paint a Star of David, a symbol of Judaism.

A week after the banners were unveiled, my family and I drove past the recreation centre where my sister’s was hanging.

It had a huge slash, right down the middle of the star.

Out of an entire city, Stacey’s banner was the only damaged one. It could have been a coincidence. A rock could have accidentally hit that particular poster, having nothing to do with the religious symbol displayed on it. But that wasn’t very likely.

Over the years, I have been faced with more and more racist comments. I’ve heard everything from snide remarks, to people making fun of each other for saving their money, a well known Jewish stereotype. Aside from some glares shot in the direction of the ignorant people, I try my best to hold my head high, still proudly wearing my Star of David necklace.

Somehow, though, it is a lot worse when newspaper feed into racism. There was a bus bombing in Jerusalem the other day, the first one in seven years. Although the fact that there has not been a bombing in seven years is something that Jews and Israelites are rather impressed with, the bombing still did happen.

But nobody knows what really occurred.

According to some papers, Israel fired missiles at Gaza City, causing the Palestinians to retaliate with the bomb. Others say the bomb was first, and the missiles came later in response. And the real story will probably never be confirmed.

To most of you out there, this probably isn’t a huge deal. So a bomb was dropped in Jerusalem and missiles were fired at Gaza City. Who cares? Israelis and Palestinians have been fighting forever.

But that isn’t really the issue at hand here.

Maybe Israelis fired the first missiles, or maybe Palestinians dropped the bomb first.

To me, though, what really matters is the media’s reaction. Each paper picks a side; everybody really does to a certain degree. They choose to support somebody and alienate somebody else. They choose to intentional hurt a group of people based on their differences.

And that is racism. That is prejudice. That is discrimination.

And that hurts.

It is something we all have to deal with every single day. We are all different. But we should be commended for our differences, not taught to be ashamed and offended by them. We should learn to love and accept each other for what makes us unique, not what makes us the same.

Our imperfections, our unique interests and traits and personalities and appearances are what make us special. Not good or bad or wrong or right, but special, and they give us each a different opportunity to make a difference.