(From Agnes – Thursday 22 April)

This morning we had our side event which was entitled ‘Building
Bridges Across Continents with Grassroots Climate Justice Movements’.
We used this space to introduce the movements within Europe, their
politics and a bit of a background of mobilisation for Copenhagen
through Climate Justice Action. We had a good turn out and many people
from different struggles and different parts of the world were present
– we know this because we asked them to fill in little papers about
where they came from and more about their struggle – and then
visualised it on an upside down map! It was good energy particularly
because the plan was to use some of this time to start planning for a
global day of action.

CJA has taken up a call from the Global Minga for a day of action on
October 12th. I believe that this day is symbolic because for some
it’s Columbus day and for this reason people in the South are trying
to reclaim it. We split into groups to first discuss what are our
allies and obstacles in building climate justice and then get into
actual planning for the day of action.

People like the face to face interaction and there were many ideas of
how to start building for this day of action – being inclusive enough
so that different tactics can be used by different groups,
coordinating some type of media work so that actions are not isolated,
etc. One of the barriers people spoke about in international planning
is the inability to meet and the use of internet and unfortunately we
finished the workshop with getting emails for a email list – but I
hope that we layed the groundwork to get people talking back to their
networks.

The meeting continued outside, but I got distracted talking to some
friends from the US and Italy where we shared stories about our
networks. And then I got distracted by a Chilean friend who was
looking for people to join a press conference of sort where they would
discuss particular strategies against mining companies in Chile,
Argentina and Bolivia. For some reason he thought I was a reporter.
When I explained to him more about what Climate Camp did – take direct
action on the root causes of climate change – his friend got really
excited. I gave the example of RBS and tar sands and how we were
trying to get at the financing part of the tar sands mining project
and she just stood there and asked ‘Why didn’t they talk about this in
the actions/strategies working group?’ !! We swapped emails so we
could keep one another updated and they went to look for more people.

Closing remarks
I somehow ended up going to the closing ceremony. I stayed through all
the speeches and they were kind of interesting. I enjoyed the fact
that Chavez said there were 18 working groups – admitting to the mesa
18 – whether he knew it or not. The way he speaks is engaging – he was
amassing us to the battle of Cancun so that we don’t allow the
politics of imperialism to continue. Giving personal anecdotes of how
he was the only one who refused to sign the FTAA. He even said
something about funding people to go to Cancun and ensure that our
message is not lost because it is legitimate and this process was
inclusive, open and an example of true democracy.

Evo continued saying that we have achieved something great and now we
have to ensure that the global north and UN listened to our voices –
we need to convince, persuade, explain what has happened here – and if
they don’t listen we have to organise. It is a great discourse,
powerful, necessary – no other world leaders have analysed climate
change looking at its root causes and defended people and mother earth
like Evo – but we didn’t really discuss how we would organise if these
words fell on deaf ears.

Posted via email from World People’s Conference