Hello readers,

My name is Ben and this is the first in a short series of journal style posts from me. There’ll also be commentary, news and information from other sources – all intended to keep you informed about the World Peoples Forum on Climate Change, which is taking place next week in Bolivia.

Anyway, I’ll try to keep this entry short as I am typing it on a smartphone touch screen in fadding light as the sun sets. Just to add to the challenge, I’m currently on what must be one of the most bumpy trains in the world, the so-called ‘death train’ from Bolivias frontier with Brazil to Santa Cruz. I’ve been travelling overland from Sao Paulo since Monday, opting to avoid further flights since jetting in from London.

I’m one of two ‘climate campers’ instructed by the UK’s Camp For Climate Action to attend the Cochabamba climate talks and feedback to those not attending. Over the next few weeks I’ll be uploading reports along with photos, video and audio interviews. Not just during and from the conference, but also from related and relevant events. For example, in the days before the conference I’ll attend events marking the tenth anniversary of Bolivias ‘water wars’ and hopefully I’ll be able to relate inspiring stories from the successful popular campaign that reversed privitisation of the countries water supply. Additionally there is a meeting of Climate Justice Now arranged for the day after the conference. Furthermore, thanks to an extended stop- over on my return flight to London, I’ll also be able to report back from Mexico City where Via Campesina have called the first preparitory meeting of social movements mobilising around COP16, which is taking place at the end of the Mexican Social Forum on the 5th/6th May.

As for now, I don’t really have much of great relevance to say and don’t want this to turn into some sort of travel log in which I complain of the terrible exchange rate I got ripped off with at the airport or moan about how expensive everything in Sao Paulo was. I’ve got much more interesting stories to tell but you’ll have to tune into Dissident Island radio to hear them as they are not directly related to the climate movement so most won’t be posted here.

I should end here and conserve my battery but wanted to briefly mention the irony I find in the fact that the movie currently playing on the train is Avatar (dubbed in Spanish). Although the sun has now completely set, I briefly got to enjoy the stunning trees the train is bouncing past (not quite Avatar jungle but still amazing). I wish I’d managed to catch the earlier train so i could have enjoyed the view longer but for some reason the ticket office closes an hour and a half before the train arrives. I should consider myself lucky to be on the over night since it actually departed a good forty minutes earlier than the time table suggested and I only caught it as I’d arrived early to avoid being caught out by the ticket office a second time. My delay also enabled me to go swimming in the massive river/lake at Puerto Suirez and sort out getting a pre-pay Bolivian SIM card for phone plus 3G internet.

So, this train is the slightly more expensive ‘express’ service which takes just 14 hours compared to 16 hours fir the ‘rapid’ train I couldn’t buy a ticket for. I’m sure the Sunday Mail will be horrified, but I opted for the most expensive ‘first class’ fare (£13 instead of £6) which means I get a reading light and reclining seat with leg rest. Of course there is zero chance of catching any significant sleep on this bone jarring train but I’m sure to be awake to watch the sun rise and then enjoy three hours of watching the scenary jolt slowly past before I arrive in Santa Cruz around 8am.

I think there’s another 12 hours worth of travelling from there to Cochabamba. However, I’ll probably hang out in Santa Cruz most of the day (and find a way to recharge this phone), then get another over night bus to avoid arriving in Cochabamba at night.

Anyway, that’s enough preable – below is the latest newsletter from the Camp for Climate Action which explains the reason we’ll be in Cochabamba and ways in which you can be involved in building an international movement without flying half way round the world….Hi everyone,The People’s Climate Summit is happening in Cochabamba, Bolivia next week, and the Camp for Climate Action is taking part. This email contains the latest on the summit, how we’re involved and how you can participate from the UK. Enjoy!International Working Groupinternational@climatecamp.org.uk * * * * * * * * * * * * ********************************************************************1) PEOPLE’S CLIMATE SUMMIT, BOLIVIA, 19-22 APRIL2) CLIMATE JUSTICE ACTION UPDATE3) INTERNATIONAL SESSION AT APRIL UK GATHERING4) INTERNATIONAL WORKING GROUP – GET INVOLVED5) CJA MEETING, BONN, GERMANY – 28-30 MAY * * * * * * * * * * * * ********************************************************************1) PEOPLE’S CLIMATE SUMMIT, BOLIVIA, 19-22 APRILIn February this year at the national gathering in Bristol the Camp for Climate Action made a consensus decision to send two activists from the UK and to sponsor three others from Ghana, Nigeria and Bangladesh to attend the the People’s World Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of the Mother Earth, which takes place in Cochabamba, Bolivia between 19-22 April, 2010. We see this as an important opportunity to connect with activists and social movements from all over the world in order to build and strengthen a global movement that confronts the root causes of climate change. The People’s World Conference on Climate Change has been called by Bolivia as a response to the failure of COP15. As one of the few countries that openly criticised the negotiations in Copenhagen and has refused to sign the Copenhagen Accord, Bolivia has invited governments, organisations and people to take part in finding solutions to fight climate change. We do not expect for this conference to provide a solution, but we will use the space to engage, learn and share with movements from around the globe in order to build resistance, show solidarity and develop alternatives. FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: http://twitter.com/WPCCC http://twitter.com/CMPCCDISCUSS:http://climatejustice.ning.comhttp://www.face…://peoplesconference.wordpress.com/ OFFICIAL SUMMIT WEBSITE: http://pwccc.wordpress.com/WATCH ONLINE: http://oneclimate.net/boliviaSome articles about the conference:http://www.upsidedownworld.org/main/ news-briefs-archives-68/2425-climate-change-from-copenhagen-to- cochabambahttp://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/mar/19/ bolivia-conference-on-climate- change * * * * * * * * * * * * ********************************************************************2) CLIMATE JUSTICE ACTION UPDATEClimate Justice Action was the international network formed to mobilise around the COP15 in Copenhagen. In February members of the network, including some from the UK, met up in Amsterdam to discuss what next for CJA in Europe. Here are four things that came out of the meeting:* SUPPORT FOR GLOBAL DAY OF ACTIONCJA agreed to support the call for a global day of action for Climate Justice in October. This call was first made at the end of COP15 in Copenhagen and is likely to be finalised in Cochabamba.* CLIMATE JUSTICE DISCUSSION PAPERA CJA working group has written a discussion paper entitled “What does climate justice mean in Europe?” Read it at:http://www.climate-justice-action.org/resources/ documents/what-does-climate-justice-mean-in-europe/* OPEN LETTER TO COCHABAMBA CONFERENCESome participants in the Amsterdam meeting who are travelling to Cochabamba wrote an open letter to the summit. Read the letter here:http://www.climate-justice-action.org/mobilization/ cochabamba/* CJA MEETING IN BONN IN MAYIt was agreed to hold another Climate Justice Action meeting in Europe in Bonn, Germany in late May. The dates are 26-28 May. See below for more.AMSTERDAM MINUTESYou can read the full minutes from the February 2010 meeting in Amsterdam here:http://www.climate-justice-action.org/resources/documents/ *** *** *** *** ********************************************************************3) INTERNATIONAL SESSION AT APRIL UK GATHERINGThis weekend 17-18 April is the latest Climate Camp UK gathering, taking place in Lewes, nr Brighton. At this gathering we’ll be discussing the global climate justice movement and how we can best be part of it as the Camp for Climate Action. Last December several hundred of us travelled to Copenhagen for the COP15 mobilisations, and over the years we’ve made links with other activists in different countries, particularly via different Climate Camps that have sprung up. But what is our vision for this global movement? How can we best act in solidarity with people in other countries and continents? And what does this mean for our participation in the Cochabamba summit and our future participation in Climate Justice Action? This session, which will take place on Sunday morning from 10am-11.30am, will be a chance to discuss these issues together and give the International working group a clear mandate for its work. So come along!For all the details about the gathering, see:http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/get-involved/national- gatherings/ next. *** *** *** *** ********************************************************************4) INTERNATIONAL WORKING GROUP – GET INVOLVEDThe Climate Camp International working group is the group of people who do the work of facilitating our participation in the international movement. If you’re part of the Camp and you’ve got international connections, it would be really useful to have you in the group. We need more people in the group, so come along to the gathering next weekend. You can have strong views on how we should be participating or just be interested in getting involved.GROUP LIAISONSTo make our work easier it’s great if each Climate Action group has at least one International Liaison whose role is to keep on top of what’s going on internationally and help your group get involved when appropriate. If you haven’t got one already please pick one and email international@climatecamp.org.uk to let us know who it is. *** *** *** *** ********************************************************************5) CJA MEETING, BONN, GERMANY – 28-30 MAY

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