Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Reclaim Power action today, Copenhagen summit

Here's my guest post on today's Reclaim Power action at COP15. Thanks v much, Catherine, Camp for Climate Action

Today grassroots activists from all over the world marched on the COP15 summit with the aim of taking over the conference for one day and transforming it into a People’s Assembly. The Reclaim Power action was intended to give a voice to those who are not being heard, to be an opportunity to change the agenda, to discuss the real solutions, to send a clear message to the world calling for climate justice.

After mass arrests of protestors and street medics who gathered at the meeting point, over 1000 people made their way to the Bella Center, many crossing the police tape and trying to run into the conference space. After being forced back by police batons, dogs and pepper spray, some tried to sneak in over an inflatable bridge!

Indigenous delegates led the group who marched out from the Bella Centre to attempt to join the activists. Police reportedly used batons on delegates inside the centre trying to get out –
[http://indymedia.dk/action_timelines/16th-dec] However despite heavy repression, 500-600 people attended a People’s Assembly, while two activists got into the conference centre and disrupted the plenary.
[See photos -
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21552129@N03/]

Before the action many NGOs including Friends of the Earth and Via Campesina were barred from the talks that day while corporate lobbyists such as BMW were allowed in. However, there are billions of people globally who (unlike the NGOs) were never invited and don’t have a voice. These elitist and undemocratic talks are part of a political and economic system that puts corporate profits before the needs of people. The market based solutions being pushed in the UN Climate talks lead to ‘climate colonialism’ through land grabbing and accelerating the transfer of wealth from the exploited to an elite.

This action is about recognizing the power we have to change things when we work together. Throughout history changes have been made by ordinary people doing extraordinary things, from the suffragettes to the civil rights movement to indigenous groups reclaiming their land from multinational corporations.

This economic system is driving climate change – the pursuit of infinite economic growth is an impossible dream on a planet with finite resources. The pursuit of profit at any cost is detrimental to life. We need system change, not climate change - come and join those creating and fighting for a world which is both just and sustainable.

7 comments:

  1. It seems we have an amusing situation where world leaders are annoying AGW-sceptics and AGW-believers alike, the sceptics are annoyed because world leaders are using a theory which they find questionable as almost a smokescreen to justify billions in redistribution of wealth (otherwise known as "carbon credits"), and the believers are annoyed because world leaders think they can solve the catastrophes they believe we face simply with redistribution of wealth/carbon credits, without any real action to mitigate emissions.

    Way to go, (new world order) world leaders!

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  2. You appear to have contradicted yourself Bristol Dave (or it might just be the way you've written it?). First you say 'world leaders are using a theory...almost a smokescreen' but then you go on to say 'world leaders think they can solve the catastrophes they believe we face'. You cant have it both ways. Do you think world leaders believe there is a problem? Or do you think that hundreds of world leaders, along with their scientific advisors and the scientific institutions in hundreds of countries, along with all those experts working for the UN to gather and evaluate the evidence, are all using climate change theory as a smokescreen?

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  3. Glenn

    You have to understand that the likes of Bristol Dave pick on any piece of information as proof that AGW doesn't exist, but choose to ignore the mass of information which says it does.

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  4. Glen - Sorry, that was my poor wording, I meant the catastrophes the AGW-believers believe we face. I don't know if world leaders believe there is a problem or not, I do however think they find it a lot easier to believe and support a theory which gives them carte blanche to do what they like, ban what they like, tax what they like, and they know they'll get away with it because anyone even sceptical of AGW gets shouted down by the likes of Anonymong above. It's the biggest golden goose the governments of the world have ever seen, and they're not going to let that go. The strong possibility of this alterior motive alone is justification enough to be sceptical. The biggest problem I have with AGW, or more importantly with the ways suggesting we deal with it, is that we could have to make massive *punative* changes to our lifestyle, pay huge amounts in taxes to do things we enjoy, such as air travel, but nobody seems to have any way of THEN telling if we've made any difference, and if it was worth making these changes all along. And what if we do as everyone says and drastically cut our carbon emissions and it still keeps getting worse? Do we try to cut them further? At what point then do we decide the CO2 was a red herring?

    Anonymong: Pretty much like the AGW doomsayers then, who pick on any piece of information as proof that AGW does exist, regardless of how "adjusted" the data is, and like the CRU ignore any datasets such as tree rings, temperature logs, ice core samples etc, that are "inconvenient" to their theory, particularly with the Elephant in the room that is the medieval warming period, which they still try in vain to brush under the carpet. Google "hide the decline".

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  5. Further to my comment above, I'm not necessarily denying AGW, and I don't necessarily think the governments of the world are completely making it up. However, I *am* sceptical of the EXTENT of the effect that specifically CO2 has on the environment, and I think the governments of the world are exaggerating this extent, for the reasons I stated above.

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  6. You appear to both ackonwledge and yet not acknowledge the climate problem simultaneously Bristol Dave. This is what many people are doing - see my post today on climate denial: what is the truth?).

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  7. 'Burn baby Burn' is the attitude, shame to see rubbish written in response to Glen's thoughtful post.

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Genuine, constructive, relevant comments are most welcome.