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Category Archives: Ten Years After
Cross-Posted from GEAR (Global Economic Accountability Research) [Note: GEAR is a fiscally sponsored project of Global Justice Ecology Project]
(GEAR video of press conference below post)
December 8, 2011.
Durban, South Africa
At 12:15pm today, after a press conference hosted by Global Justice Ecology Project, a GJEP panelist dressed as a clown was de-badged and removed from the UNFCCC negotiations.
“Uncle Sam,” identified as Kevin Buckland, art ambassador for 350.org, was stopped in the middle of an interview immediately following the press conference and was escorted out of the building by security. Buckland has been appearing as “Uncle Sam,” the ringleader of a band of corporate clowns, at several outside rallies and events over the past two weeks of the UN climate talks here in Durban, South Africa.
Buckland was informed by UN security that he was breaking the NGO code of conduct, despite repeated affirmations that he was merely giving an interview, and not participating in an action. This is only the latest in a string of incidents here at COP17 where civil society has been muzzled by “code of conduct” rules arbitrarily imposed by UN security.
Journalist Orin Langelle of Z Magazine and Global Justice Ecology Project was told by UNFCCC Security Guards to stop taking photos and had his camera shoved into his face. Two civil society observers had their cameras taken by security while filming the expulsion process.
Global Justice Ecology Project’s press release promised “…a strong denouncement of the Green Economy, and an end with a band of clowns blowing bubbles and highlighting the absurdity of the whole UNFCCC process.” Buckland, who has organized and performed numerous pieces of political street theatre, was invited to the press conference to provide a satirical view of the corporate capture of the UN climate process, and of the market schemes being advanced under the guise of the new “Green Economy.”
Other panelists during the press conference, including Desmond D’Sa of the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, Anne Petermann of Global Justice Ecology Project, Kandi Mosset of the Indigenous Environmental Network, and Ricardo Nevarro of Friends of the Earth El Salvador, the former President of FOE International, were not bothered after the press conference. Buckland was the only panelist to appear in clown regalia.
By Orin Langelle
Yes, it’s ten years after 9/11. And this video is not about the twin towers. I’m not going into any conspiracy theories, nor am I going to wave the flag. Something terrible happened ten years ago; that’s undeniable. I was going to write about some of the notable changes that have occurred in those ten years, like the further loss of freedoms, growing fascism, corporations with the rights of people, a surge in racism, workers’ rights denied more and more, the continued pillaging of the Earth, the intensification of climate chaos, plus the withering of the global justice movement in the U.S. A movement that was vibrant and offered hope to millions who wanted to live in a better world–a movement that still can resurge and is more necessary than ever.
Then I started looking at my past and the beginnings of my involvement in the movement for social change back in the late-60s, and I remembered a rock group called Ten Years After. How appropriate for this 9/11. So I thought about running a video clip from them like “I’d love to change the world.” It has some great lyrics: “…Tax the rich, feed the poor–Till there are no rich no more…” Then I started looking at other videos from the late 60s—early 70s and found the one below by Jefferson Airplane. This video brought me sad memories of that war. Many dead on both sides. Scorched Earth. Agent Orange. Suicides when soldiers returned. Friends’ lives and minds ruined. With those memories flooding back I realized it would be good to look further into the past than just ten years and to remember things that happened during the Vietnam War to provide a broader perspective. Could the U.S. war in Indochina, other hostilities including violently backing various dubious governments, and the establishment of U.S. military bases around the globe be some of the reasons “they hate us?” And let’s not forget that the U.S. military is the largest single emitter of greenhouse gases on the planet. I hope this video helps jolt us into looking back into history–things that the Tea Party, Republicans, Democrats, corporations etc. want us to forget. Let’s shake off some of the collective amnesia.
(BTW—in the video one can click the X on the box to get rid the annoying google advert.)
-Orin Langelle is the Co-Director/Strategist for Global Justice Ecology Project
Video cross-posted from utahraptor88