'We Will Stand for Ourselves': Global Movement Stakes Claim for COP21
'The Paris moment will be defined not by what happens in the negotiating halls, but in the streets of Paris and around the world.'
By Deirdre Fulton / commondreams.org

"If governments won't stand for us, we'll stand for ourselves," says 350.org. (Photo: Climate Games)

Building on the momentum and message of last year's People's Climate March in New York City, activists are vowing to convene during the upcoming COP21 talks in Paris for what campaigners hope will be "the largest mass civil disobedience climate justice action that we have ever seen in Europe."

From a huge march on the eve of the two-week UN climate summit to a mass mobilizationon the final day of the conference to decentralized and creative direct actions in Paris and around the world, the events aim to demonstrate the energy and commitment of the people's movement, even as world leaders and corporate interests meet behind closed doors to try to strike a global agreement.

"If enough people agree that it’s time for the world to move in a new direction, and push together, the world will begin to move."
—350.org

"We want to have the last word as the climate talks conclude," 350.org states in its call-to-action for the last day of the summit, December 12. "And we’ll get it by speaking in the language of movements: by putting tens of thousands of people into the streets of Paris, and making sure business as usual cannot proceed as long as world governments fail to do what’s needed."

The 350 statement continues: "The Paris moment will be defined not by what happens in the negotiating halls, but in the streets of Paris and around the world. Politicians aren’t the only ones with power. If enough people agree that it’s time for the world to move in a new direction, and push together, the world will begin to move."

The movement has articulated that its demands include a sustainable energy transformation, justice for frontline communities, and "immediate, urgent and drastic emission reductions."

Beyond marches and rallies, Paris is set to become a playing field for the Climate Games, a global effort supporting acts of creative disobedience on the streets, in public spaces, and in cyberspace during the summit.

Backed by a wide range of grassroots groups including 350.org and Attac France, the Games are the brainchild of London-based artist-activists Isabelle Frémeaux and John Jordan, who say their goal is to "amplify this growing movement for climatic justice" and "highlight and act against the manipulation and engulfment of the negotiations by the power of multinational companies."

Frémeaux and Jordan have dubbed that corporate power machine "the Mesh."

"Manifestations of 'the Mesh'—austerity-dictating politicians, fossil fuel corporations, industry lobbyists, peddlers of false solutions and greenwashers—are converging to solve the climate catastrophe," the Climate Games website declares. "Or so they tell us."

However, the statement continues, "Paris will be a world stage where we, people power, raise the curtain on the smoke and mirrors of false corporate promises and pierce through the Mesh's hold on us."

"Paris will be a world stage where we, people power, raise the curtain on the smoke and mirrors of false corporate promises and pierce through the Mesh's hold on us."
—Climate Games

The Guardian reports Thursday that among the actions will be 10 blockades, themed around 'red lines' which climate campaigners fear negotiators may cross. On the last day of the gathering, thousands of people are expected to surround the Le Brouget summit site with inflatable red lines, each meant to represent a potential deal-breaker—such as equitable climate finance for poorer countries, or meaningful emissions reductions.

"The idea is not to lock the delegates in," Jordan told the Guardian, "but to have acts of civil disobedience that block the streets and infrastructure, if they cross red lines that are minimal necessities for a liveable planet."

"It is going to be the largest mass civil disobedience climate justice action that we have ever seen in Europe," added Prayal Parekh, of 350.org. "We’re sensing a lot of excitement and appetite. It’s going to be colorful."

Before Paris, however, there will be another opportunity to demonstrate collective desire for a global paradigm shift on climate.

This weekend, under the banner of Reclaim Power, groups and individuals will mobilize worldwide around the following demands:

  1. Ban new dirty energy projects
  2. End government subsidies and public handouts to dirty energy companies.
  3. Stop excessive energy consumption by corporations and global elites.
  4. Redirect and mobilize public finance to ensure people’s universal access to energy and make the complete shift to public and community/decentralized renewable and clean energy systems as soon as possible.
  5. Divest from fossil fuel corporations.

Follow those actions on Twitter this October 9 and 10 with #reclaimpower


0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who's Really in Charge of Women's Bodies
Julianne Ross · 19,639 views today · When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would...
Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure
Daniel Quinn · 9,801 views today · PART ONE A fable to start with Once upon a time life evolved on a certain planet, bringing forth many different social organizations—packs, pods, flocks, troops, herds, and...
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 5,611 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
Lawns Are for Suckers. Plant a Garden - for the Climate!
Nathanael Johnson · 5,289 views today · Ripping out your lawn and planting kale and peppers won’t just lead to great stir-fry — a new study finds it could make major contributions to fighting climate change...
You Should Get Naked More Often. It's Good for You.
Joni Sweet · 3,820 views today · When Nelly encouraged overheated people worldwide to get naked in 2002, he was unknowingly advocating much more than just a sexy, sweaty dance party. Sunbathing, sleeping...
How Native Americans Managed "Wild" Land Long Before Settlers
Sami Grover · 2,514 views today · When European settlers first came to North America, they assumed they were looking at "untouched" nature. Sure, there were native peoples, but history tells us they didn't...
A New Story for Humanity (2016)
102 min · 2,354 views today · Inspired by the New Story Summit at the Findhorn Foundation: a sold-out multicultural, multigenerational inquiry into a new story for humanity, attended by change makers and...
Solidarity Is About What You Do - Not Who You Are.
R.L. Stephens · 2,144 views today · I am Black. I capitalize Black and leave white lowercased. Sure, it’s the accepted spelling, but really I do it because it feels good. My family lived in Missouri, but my...
Bioregional Quiz: How Well Do You Know the Place in Which You Live?
Rua Lupa · 1,956 views today · In the vast emptiness of space there are an unimaginable number of galaxies, each galaxy containing billions upon billions of stars. Looking at one galaxy we find an average...
Gabor Maté: Why Our Culture Makes So Many Of Us Unhappy
3 min · 1,637 views today · Dr. Gabor Maté explains why it is that our culture makes so many of us unhappy, unkind to one another, miserable, alienated from ourselves, etc. Watch the full interview in Part 2.
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,457 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Why You Should Take Your Kids Out of School
Ben Hewitt · 1,042 views today · We don't need no education. At least not of the traditional, compulsory, watch-the-clock-until-the-bell-rings kind. As a growing movement of unschoolers believe, a steady diet...
Masculinity Is Killing Men: The Roots of Men and Trauma
Kali Holloway · 996 views today · We begin the damaging process of turning boys into men long before boyhood ends.
How Stress Affects Your Brain
4 min · 945 views today · Stress isn’t always a bad thing; it can be handy for a burst of extra energy and focus, like when you’re playing a competitive sport or have to speak in public. But when it’s...
Why People's Opinions of You Aren't Real
4 min · 836 views today · "You are what you love and not what loves you." - From Charlie Kaufman's film "Adaptation"
What Is Universal Basic Income?
2 min · 755 views today · What is Universal Basic Income? Everyone's talking about a 'citizen's income' or 'basic income', but what on earth is it?! It sounds like a Utopian dream, but support for a...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 704 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are
Mark Wolynn · 687 views today · The past is never dead. It’s not even past. — William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 599 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 528 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
'We Will Stand for Ourselves': Global Movement Stakes Claim for COP21