THE EXPEDITION - Walk To Waken The Nation

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(This has been reworded a little since initially posted; the message remains the same. ~AC)

We are sleepwalking into the biggest crisis we have ever faced and I will not go quietly into that.

The time has come to waken to the existential threat we face. I am making this expedition to waken the people of this nation to the crisis we are in, and to demand real, constructive, immediate change from our government.

When I arrive in Ottawa, I will ask our Prime Minister for his personal and political commitment to maintain life – and human life – in this country and on this planet.

People around the world are reclaiming our voices and our power. Governments are already shaken by the force of this crisis - and by the force of the growing grassroots movement to do what is right for the planet and for all of us.

There is no longer time to politely discuss, or argue about, or gradually implement, policy tweaks and shock-free steps. That has already has failed. Only deep and sweeping change can stand against what has now begun.

We can simply bear witness to the death of everything on this planet and the extinction of humanity... or we can join together, and with the sheer force of truth and belief in what is right and what can be, we can change everything.

For the sake of life in this country and on this planet, and in solidarity with Extinction Rebellion groups all over the world, I am walking to Ottawa to demand that our government

1. Tell the truth about how deadly our situation is.

2. Reduce carbon emissions in Canada to net zero by 2025 and take further action to remove atmospheric carbon excess.

3. Create regional, national and international assemblies to make sure those things happen and to oversee the changes.

I make these demands because we have everything to lose-- and our own future to gain.

About The Expedition
Beginning during the Extinction Rebellion International Rebellion Week (April 15-21, 2019), I am walking to Ottawa, to ask our Prime Minister to declare climate emergency and commit to face this crisis in accordance with the Extinction Rebellion demands.

I can no longer sit around talking and waiting while nothing happens, while this Prime Minister keeps doing the opposite of what we need.

I carry two things to our Prime Minister .

I carry a letter, to which anyone is welcome to add their signature. Signatures are being collected online as well. This letter includes the demands of Extinction Rebellion, which reflect the best gathered intelligence regarding the situation at hand, and which have been carefully considered in order to outline the best possible solution to the crisis at hand.

I carry a gift, to honour our Prime Minister's position as one with the potential to facilitate great good, to honour the request being made, and to honour the life this request is made for.

If my request is not successful, I will remain at Parliament and continue to ask, until it is.

The Expedition will be ecologically low-impact as possible. I travel by foot, using a kickbike (adult foot scooter) and dog carrier to assist me and in order to bring basic camping supplies.

My dog and I will follow the TransCanada Highway from Calgary (home since 2016) to Ottawa. We will live and travel very simply, using alternative power and maintaining green living habits along the way.

I welcome any who wish to add their voice and their footsteps to this mission. When joining, please respect the ecological nature of this journey, and travel as greenly as possible.

The Gift
Along the way, I will collect uniquely relevant small items symbolic of life in each area. I hope that others may bring, and send, items from other areas of the country to be added, creating a collection representing all that is at stake across this nation.

The Letter
To the Prime Minister of Canada,

I would not like to doubt that you love this country, with its awe-inspiring lands and people. I would like to believe you accepted the honour of the position you hold and the responsibility of representing our country on international scale because you could do what is best for us all in your heart. You are not.

You are driving our nation headlong into the biggest crisis we have ever faced.

As of October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has evaluated the situation of this planet and life upon it to be in imminent and critical danger. The scale of what is now happening is incomprehensible. We will all be gone, forever.

Thirty years ago, the world’s scientists made it clear that the human race was heading for catastrophe if carbon emissions were not drastically cut. Three decades later, emissions have risen by 60%, and are still rising.

This is the greatest collective abject failure in the history of humanity. We now face civilizational collapse. Climate genocide is already killing hundreds of thousands of people in communities suffering through wars, hurricanes, famine, refugee crises, heat waves, flooding, fires... billions more humans will die, and millions of other species are going extinct as fast as they did when an asteroid hit our planet 65 million years ago... all because of humanities' unquenchable greed.

Yet even now, as people around the world reclaim our voices and our power in the face of total planetary systems collapse, this government is desperately trying to maintain a way of governing and being which simply will not work. You are, and must be held, responsible.

Only deep and sweeping change to implement massive climate redress and work towards re-balancing the planetary ecosystem, mitigating the mass extinction already in process and keeping humanity from being part of that.

We cannot believe that we are not capable of changing our own selves, and simply witness the death of everything on this planet and the extinction of humanity. We can and MUST join together, with the sheer force of truth and belief in what is right, in what can be, people can change everything.

The time has come to tell the truth and to act on that truth. It is still technically and economically possible to create a world that is more real, more meaningful and provides a more viable way of living for all.

The time has come to waken to the existential threat we face. I have made this expedition to waken the people of this nation to the situation we are in, and to waken you and this government to your responsibility.

I request that you, our Prime Minister, personally and politically commit to maintain life – and human life – on this planet.

For the sake of life in this country and on this planet, and in solidarity with Extinction Rebellion groups all over the world, I demand that

1. The Government must tell the truth about how deadly our situation is, it must reverse all policies not in alignment with that position and must work alongside the media to communicate the urgency for change including what individuals and communities need to do.

2. Greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors are reduced to net zero by 2025 and ecological overshoot is reversed through a massive emergency mobilization. The new goals of society must be to rapidly restore a safer, cooler climate and to provide maximum protection for all people and species, especially the most vulnerable.

3. Regional, national and international assemblies based upon more robust forms of participatory democracy are created to work out how the above two aims will be brought about in their particular contexts, prioritizing the needs of people most affected by the ecological crisis and that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is followed.

If we do not change, civilization as we know it will collapse. Humanity is a massively damaged and miseducated race, but we can realize our potential to be awe-inspiring. Together, we have the power to save a planet, and you have to power to facilitate this. Please do.

We have everything to lose – and our own future to gain.


Ann Cognito (aka Tanya Bucknor)

About Ann Cognito
This expedition will take at least a few months.

I'm a 50 year old woman who has spent most of my life mostly in the margins, and also spent most of my life caring about the state of this planet but not knowing how to make an effective difference.

Now, I'm retired, on disability pension due to multiple health problems, including a huge and growing list of intolerances for which I have no official medical answers – I am reacting to the same things that are killing this whole planet. I'm tired of having no voice and I'm tired of watching this crisis get to such a point and now explode unchecked.

So, I am asking for change, because it's too late not to.

Please join me... we have everything to lose, and our own future to gain.