Climate Justice Updates from Cochabamba to Detroit and Cancun

Day VI in Copenhagen: Demonstrations and Declarations: “The People” Raise the Roof on Climate Injustice!

admin : December 13, 2009 11:18 pm : allposts, copenhagen

RePosted from Jacqui 
Patterson’s blog, Women of Color United
For many, many video links to KlimaForum panels and interviews, see Jacqui’s blog.

Another amazing day! As folks gather and organize, and frustrations mount, the intensity of the voice of the people increases.   The leaking of “the Danish Text”, the evident lack of commitment to advance a legally binding agreement, the continued advancement of false/harmful solutions such as REDDS, cap and trade, and “alternatives” such as nuclear energy and “clean coal”, as well as the latest offensive from the US, the approval of drilling for oil in Alaska, all act as kindling for the inferno of outrage.

Prez of Maldives to sign KlimaForum Petition

Prez of Maldives to sign KlimaForum Petition

At the Klimaforum, people were engaged with gaining signatures for A_People_s_Declaration_from_Klimaforum09_-_final_version The declaration calls for 1) Complete abandoning of fossil fuels in the next 30 years with 40% reduction in emissions by 2020. 2) Recognition, compensation, and payment of climate debt. 3) Rejection of purely market oriented and technology centered false and dangerous solutions. 4) Real solutions to the climate crisis based on safe, clean, renewable, sustainable use of resources and transition to food, energy, land, and water sovereignty.

Today 100,000 people, with indigenous leaders in the front, took to the streets of Copenhagen and marched 4 miles from the town center to the Bella Center where the conference is being held.  With signs making proclamations such as “There is No Planet B”, “Planet Not Profit”, and “Mother Nature Does Not Compromise”, “Bla, Bla, Bla Climate Justice Now” voices were heard nationally, regionally, and globally as a result of this massive demonstration.

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MG Delegation Arrives during Biggest Street Protest in Copenhagen

admin : December 12, 2009 11:17 pm : allposts, copenhagen

photos of MG delegation & march
from Diana Pei Wu sent December 12, 2009

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For news on the protest, estimated at 100,000 demonstrators, visit:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/13/hundreds-arrested-in-copenhagen-violence

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APEN’s Mari Rose Taruc Makes International News in Copenhagen!

admin : December 12, 2009 10:52 pm : allposts, copenhagen

DSCN0027Reflections on my 1st full day at the Global Climate Summit
by Mari Rose Taruc
12/12/09

The early winter cold of Copenhagen turns my face into a popsicle, but all I had to do was join the “Flood for Climate Justice” march of a hundred thousand energetic people from around the world to feel warm. A 4 mile, 4+ hour mobilization is enough to keep anyone from freezing. Signs of hope/despair: “There is no planet B,” “Nature doesn’t compromise,” to “systems change, not climate change.”

DSCN0063While on the march, a UK Guardian TV reporter asked me if I was optimistic or skeptical of these climate negotiations. Both. Skeptical because there’s no denying that many of our elected officials are in bed with corporations [while I held up my transported Bay area protest sign “Chevron, Corporations OUT of Copenhagen Climate Talks”]. And optimistic because I can’t just let my babies, family & community die from climate disruption.

We have work to do. I’m already learning a lot just by allies briefing me from the first week of these climate negotiations. Something we don’t hear often in the US is “ecological debt” or what some refer to as “carbon colonization”. It’s that rich countries have colonized the atmosphere with Read More »

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Southwest Workers Union in Copenhagen!

admin : December 12, 2009 3:57 pm : allposts, copenhagen

IMG_0026Posted on December 11, 2009 from Copenhagen
from Southwest Workers Union

SWU’s Jill Johnston has been in Copenhagen for the 15th annual international climate change conference since Monday, and EJ organizer Diana Lopez travels there today. We got our first dispatch from Copenhagen from Jill today and wanted to share it with everyone. Go Jill and Diana–climate justice now, here in SA and around the world!

Jill writes:

I joined with thousands of other folks converging on Copenhagen to ensure that voices of environmental justice / climate justice communities are heard inside and outside of the U.N. climate negotiations. Among affected communities, grassroots organizations, small island nations and highly impacted countries, there is a noticeable shift in the discourse about climate change. Unlike a few years ago it is not merely about the science, rather issues of climate change have taken on broader implications of equity, human rights, cultural preservation and gender equality.
Read More »

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Indigenous & Youth Activists Call for Climate Justice

admin : December 12, 2009 3:23 pm : allposts, copenhagen

Posted by Jacqui Patterson, Women of Color United

Activists have been here for a few days, and have met and strategized together. Thus, the actions are an increasing reflection of growing solidarity and joint action across borders, movements, etc.

First thing this morning, a panel of African American and African activists, led by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance,  joined forces to honor President Obama’s receipt of the Nobel Peace on Human Rights Day, hail President Obama as a native son of Africa, and call on him to show leadership in advancing aggressive targets to address climate change.  Also represented on the panel was the Pan African Parliamentarians Network on Climate Change., Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, and the Black Women’s Roundtable, (see post below)

In late morning, indigenous rights activists gathered in front of the US embassy to call on President Obama to stop the war waged on native people and lands by the energy industry. They cited tar sands, oil refineries, coal fired power plants, etc. and called for just energy policies and enforcement of regulations.

Later, in the Bella Center Indigenous and Youth Activists gathered and simulated a storm through use of their bodies and vocalizations.  The sound was an impressive representation of what is already occurring and what will increase in terms of severe weather events.  Participants then gave testimony of the threat that increasing climate change has for their lives and what they want to see in the way of change. They called on decision makers to “seal the deal” for the sakes of their lives.

To end out the day I went over to the Klimaforum and listened to a talk on Cuba and Oil that centered on their efforts to maintain sovereign rights over this coveted natural resource. One of the audience members counseled Cuba to consider a model such as that of the Nordic nations who are also oil rich but execute a mixed economy model where they keep a significant portion of their oil for use in the Nordic region. Then they only export what they don’t need.  This is as opposed to many models where countries export all of their natural resources and end up buying their own resource back at a premium after it has been process/refined by an external entity.
I also met a fantastic youth activist from Senegal named Minielle Tall. She can tell her own story, which echoes so much of what we’ve heard in terms of being a cry for justice for the travesty of the suffering of her country and continent due to the lack of willingness by wealthy nations to adjust lifestyle and practices for the good of all.

With close links to the global south through ancestry, shared experienced around climate change, and through immigration, it is appropriate that our US companion blog of the day features the story of a woman who emigrated from Cameroon to the US, driven by many of the climate related issues expressed by our comrades at this conference.  Please see the story of Elizabeth Ufie Asaha next….

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