POSTPONED – Half-day workshop “Fighting for Environmental Justice”

Due to the current blockades on the railway network, in support of the fight of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and their allies against Coastal GasLink (CGL) and the actions of the RCMP on their territories, the event is postponed to a later date. A new date will be announced on GRÉEA website as soon as possible.

The GRÉEA organizes a half-day workshop on the theme « Fighting for Environmental Justice »

Carrefour des arts et des sciences, rooms C-2059 & C-3061
3150 Jean Brillant
Université de Montréal, Montréal


This event aims at gathering researchers in environmental philosophy and related disciplines, students and activists to discuss the notion of environmental justice, the concrete and contextual issues it faces, the ways activists are struggling for it, how environmental philosophy might influence and be informed by concrete actions, etc.

The event is free and open to all. People from First Nations and from other minority groups are warmly invited to participate to this half-day workshop. English will be used for the presentations. French and English might be used during the discussion periods.

The GRÉEA acknowledges that the event will be organized on the traditional and unceded territory of the Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk), a place which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst nations.

The event is accessible to people with reduced mobility.


1st part, 2:30pm – 4:00pm | Room C-2059

Presentation of Stephen D’Arcy, Huron University College, “Dilemmas of Solidarity in Environmental Justice Activism”


Environmental justice activism often takes the form of struggles to fend off a variety of harms that directly threaten the well-being of oneself, one’s family, or one’s community. However, in very many cases it takes an importantly different form, as a defence of what may be called distant others — far-off communities, future generations, or other species — from dangers or harms that do not directly threaten oneself or one’s community, but which one opposes on other grounds. The motivation for these struggles on behalf of distant others is often said to be “solidarity.” But what do we mean by solidarity? If we understand solidarity as a type of compassion-motivated “noblesse oblige,” inviting the relatively privileged to act for the benefit of those who are less fortunate, it can give rise to a variety of all-too-familiar pathologies of movement activism: paternalism, moralism, self-righteousness, and ‘performative’ online posturing. On the other hand, if we understand solidarity instrumentally, as a kind of strategic alliance for mutual advantage, we risk weakening the motivational basis for solidarity activists to make personal sacrifices for the benefit of distant others who may not be able to reciprocate. After all, if mutual advantage is the main appeal, why risk arrest or devote long hours and precious resources to helping distant others that may be incapable of reciprocating? In this paper, I propose a way of thinking about solidarity activism on behalf of distant others that integrates compassion, strategic calculation, and democratic deliberation in the context of a broad-based anti-systemic approach to environmental justice movement-building.


Stephen D’Arcy (Huron at Western) is an associate professor of philosophy and an activist in struggles for social and environmental justice. He is author of the book, Languages of the Unheard: Why Militant Protest is Good for Democracy, and co-editor of the book, A Line in the Tar Sands: Struggles for Environmental Justice. He teaches and writes about democratic theory, practical ethics, and the history of German philosophy.

COFFEE BREAK, 4:15 pm – 5:00 pm | Room C-3061

2nd part, 5:00pm – 7:00pm | Room C-3061

Round-table with :

Each presentation will be of about 20 minutes. The presentations will be followed by a discussion with the public.