Day of Action for Rivers Reflections

Katherine Brousseau

Past Actions: Creativity, Celebration, and Courage

Something I love that was said to me when I first arrived at International Rivers was, “The Day of Action for Rivers will happen whether or not you’re ‘coordinating’ it.” I love this, because for a moment I can glimpse all the things being planned around the world right now…people getting together and talking, putting their energy into protecting the river-life networks around them. And I appreciate it because I am immediately reminded of the gravity that also accompanies this Day of Action for Rivers – people organize their actions because they have to continue standing up for the protection of rivers, their connected ecosystems, and people. It is an ongoing struggle.

"Rivers Meet Light": mixed media performance - Malaysia
Word is coming in of planned actions for this March by communities and activists who have participated in the Day of Action for Rivers before, and by people we are hearing from for the first time. Check out the 2012 Actions by Region to read about these plans!

The variety of events that take place for the Day of Action for Rivers is simply wonderful. This is where people’s creativity shines, and we see the unique relationships people have to each other, and to their rivers, all over the world.

Last year, we were aware of 111 actions in 34 countries. Here’s a sense of the vast spectrum of actions that took place: 

  • In Guerrero, Mexico, children send hand-made boats down the river with messages of hope, and protest against La Parota Dam.
    Protests Against La Parota Dam: Guerrero, Mexico
  • In Costa Rica a month-long celebration for rivers tied into the Day of Action for Rivers.
  • A large fish-catch was distributed by a fishing community in Brazil whose livelihood is threatened by the Belo Monte Dam.
  • In Malaysia, a mixed-media performance was put on to trace the past and present relationships between communities and rivers.
  • There were documentary screenings, marches, letters written to government leaders in defense of rivers, river clean-ups, ritual blessings and prayers, community bike rides linking towns that will be affected by proposed dams, and symbolic rivers made of fabric which were marched throughout towns and cities.

Check out photos from some of these actions, and read past blog entries to get a sense of the great potential of this Day of Action for Rivers.

Setting Out on the Xingu River, Brazil
Spread the word!

If you know any group that would like to organize an event, let them know they can share their plans with International Rivers.

Email if you have questions, would like to receive materials about the Day of Action for Rivers, and to share photos and stories about your actions with us!

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