From the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network
Last Friday, we honoured a great person and activist, and a dear friend, who had a presence at and behind the scenes of so many actions for justice around Tkaronto. He also played a key role in founding MISN and supporting us over the past decade.
We celebrated him in a way that he would have us: with art, ceremony, music, words from our hearts, followed by a candlelit march with a marching band, fireworks, and a route covered with posters commemorating him and his words. Finally we gathered together to share a meal and performances celebrating his life. Hundreds of people came out to honour this wonderful person and activist, who brought so many into the movement and inspired us with his actions.
We honour you, Dave Vasey, and your legacy of good work in our community and beyond.
Dave Vasey (November 14, 1978 – January 27, 2019) was an environmental justice, Indigenous solidarity, and anti-fascist organizer based in Toronto, Ontario. He was someone who felt deeply his responsibility to work towards a more just and sustainable world, and worked, almost entirely as a volunteer, for several causes and projects.
He was a starter of organizations, playing a founding role in RAN Toronto, EJ Toronto, MISN: Mining Injustice Solidarity Network, Rising Tide Toronto, Toronto People’s Assembly On Climate Justice and the anti-fascist self defence club as well as playing a principal role in Occupy Toronto Market Exchange, the environmental justice day of action during the G20, Aamjiwnaang solidarity and the province-wide network resisting Line 9.
Dave emphasized spreading organizing tools amongst the grassroots networks in which he participated, often leading trainings on marshalling, non-violent direct action, and de-escalation. He was courageous in the work that he did, often taking on roles that would risk or lead to arrest.
Besides the organizing that Dave led, throughout his life he supported groups like OCAP Toronto, No One Is Illegal | Personne n’est illégal | Nadie es ilegal, the Toronto Seed Library, Grassy Narrows Support and No More Silence by postering, volunteering his time, and being boots-on-the-ground at many actions throughout Toronto.
Dave was also a builder, landscaper and gardener. He grew many beautiful gardens for friends and neighbours, including the garden at Saint Stephen-in-the-Fields. He gave generously of his time and skills and cared deeply for his community in addition to the causes that we were all working towards.
He will be greatly missed.