(From Agnes – Wednesday April 21, 2010)

I went back to the structural causes working group today.  I was
hoping to meet up with my Venezuelan friends. I was really interested
in hearing more about the ‘civilising model’ that they kept talking
about and also wanted to know what they thought of the process within
Venezuela. Through whispered conversations I already knew that they
saw it as a long process that would culminate when their country
stopped using the capitalist extractive economic model to fund the
socialist revolution, but I wondered how they saw it unfolding.

I stayed long enough to hear two climate deniers ! They weren’t really
successful from swaying any focus from the task at hand – discussing
the danger of green capitalism, individualism and the need for
collectivism. Unfortunately, I didn’t stay long enough to meet with my
friends because they were focused on their interventions and I was
distracted by the side event we were invited to by the Democracy
Centre. I was getting nervous and went off to the internet to remind
myself of all the wonderful actions we did against E.On and when I
came back everyone had disappeared.

So I went back to the mesa 18 where Ben and I arranged to meet at 3pm
because there was supposed to be a talk on San Cristobal. We thought
it would be a good idea to let everyone know abut the action happening
the next day in London and maybe work with someone on a message to
send back. Before anything started I went up to one of the organisers
telling him my intention – his eyes lit up. He told me that I must
announce this to everyone once they got started. So I sat down and
sent Ben ahead to the panel inteding to follow right after the
announcement, but I never left.

Instead of the discussion on San Cristobal the mesa 18 went straight
into drafting a declaration so that it could be presented along with
all the other ones later that eveing. A draft declaration went up on
the screen and they went through it sentence by sentence – any
intervention that was made went automatically into the document – it
was only then challenged, discussed, questioned with further
interventions or simply applauded in agreement. This is how in a space
of more than 100 people consensus was reached.

It was a hot/heated ( ‘caliente’ ) discussion and I was amazed and
excited about the process and the end result. The declaration is raw
and more powerful than anything else I read in the conference. I
didn’t really take notes, but I’ll try to translate the final document
and post it.

At no point did I feel it was appropriate for me to intervene in this
process, my Argentine friend kept saying to wait until the end. But
before the document was finalised the person I spoke to orginally made
the announcement saying that some people in London would be having a
solidarity action the following day. Everyone cheered. I smiled. This
is what it’s about!

This was followed by an announcement was about the cultural protest
that would meet outside within a half hour. Over fifty people went to
the university with their posters and masks hidden, but once inside
they marched around the University denouncing the contradictions of
this conference of the discourse chanting:
‘Basta de mentiras que aqui la pachamama esta siendo vendida’ /
‘Enough with the lies, here mother earth is being sold’

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