BurstTheBubble.org Release Party a Success

Monday, October 2, 2006

Written by Greg Beneteau

Burst The Bubble Awareness Collective (BTBAC) is a brand new CSA club. The founder of the club, Chad Riopel, said it is devoted to “trying to tie the broad spectrum of social justice and environmental issues together so that people who are unfamiliar with the issues can learn about them and burst their bubble about the world around them.”

On Sunday, October 1st the new club organized a website release party at Atmosphere Café in downtown Guelph to promote the launch of the site and to celebrate the hard work put in so far my club members. There were about 40 people in attendance. The words “Free Food, Free Music and Live Speakers” was featured prominently on the chalkboard outside the café.

Chad Riopel opened the night with a few words about the club and the website. One speaker that followed was Phil Allt, who ran in the recent federal election for the NDP. His talk was titled “How to get involved and why to get involved.”

Allt said he initially got involved with activism as a University of Guelph student (and after “a few beers”) in the 1980s with protests against the student newspaper Ontarion. He said that at the time the paper was “racist, sexist, and disdainful to the student population” and the protests were targeted at making the paper “more responsive to students”. He spoke briefly about when the Ontarion office was raided by the RCMP and when the U of G tried to shut them down. He tied this into student involvement and how to work constructively to promote social justice, anti-oppression and community involvement. He went on to promote fair trade, resource conservation and getting involved in political campaigns both at the municipal and federal level.

The band that played was called Half Dozen Down. Band members include Tunny Gallant, Luke Nares and Amanda Baine, who are all Guelph students. Becky Wallace, the CSA Academic Commissioner was one of the attendees to the event, said Half Dozen Down’s music is “incredible”.

The club will be focusing most of its time and energy on developing its website - which will be used as a hub for Guelph-based social justice and environmental organizations. Groups can use the site to network with other similar organizations, promote themselves, post articles and learn about issues that they re unfamiliar with.

Most of the focus will be on issues of social justice, oppression and the environment, but it is certainly not limited to these. Any group in Guelph that is working for the betterment of society can join the group and contribute to the site. The new website offers a positive contribution to the Guelph community and promises to be a constructive avenue for both groups and individuals to network and learn about issues of public interest.

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