Note: We recently received the following article from GJEP long-time friend and comrade Kev Smith. We’ve worked with Kevin on various occasions, most notably with Climate Justice Action and the mobilization for the Copenhagen UN climate talks in 2009.
One of the aims in the Copenhagen mobilization was to expose the illegitimate dealings of the UN with corporations while working with the grassroots, social movements, Indigenous Peoples Organizations and progressive NGOs in an attempt to show the world that people were radically struggling to prevent false solutions and climate catastrophe while fighting for climate justice over the same old corporate globalization. At one point during the climate talks, Indigenous Peoples led a march out of the official UN conference center with progressive NGOs and planned to meet up with people not allowed on the inside of the negotiations. The meeting would be a Peoples’ Assembly — a non-hierarchical peoples’ platform that would stand out as a model in opposition to the top down corporate UN model.
Well, we didn’t get a chance to meet as police violently stopped both marches. That’s some of climate justice history, as was the statement that came from Climate Justice Now! afterwards (and also the year before in Poznan, Poland). Some may wish to erase that grassroots activist history in favor of lobbying to stop the climate catastrophe. But we must remember our history. Kevin’s piece, “Dissenting voices cop 6 climate talks 2000”, helps keep our history alive and that history needs to be remembered, lest we constantly try and reinvent the wheel.
– Orin Langelle for the GJEP Team
By Kevin Smith, July 18, 2013. Source: Platform London
It’s been a season of archiving action at Platform! We’re been sweatily rummaging about our storage unit, ferreting through 30 years-worth of materials as the lovely people from theBishopsgate Institute library are going to be sifting through it all and making it more accessible as part of their collections on London history, labour and socialist history, free thought and humanism, co-operation, and protest and campaigning.
One historical nugget that I recently unearthed was ‘dissenting voices,’ a publication that documented the mobilizations that took place outside the COP 6 Climate Talks in Den Haag in 2000. As far as I know, this has never been digitalized, and it seemed like a quite important document of a somewhat overlooked event that not only had a big influence on what we know of as the climate justice movement today, it was also how the Rising Tide climate direct action network originated.
Rising Tide first developed as a coalition and a network of groups who came together at the COP 6 climate talks to take an oppositional stance to the way the talks were developing, highlighting the extent of influence of corporate lobbyists, the marginalization of Southern countries in the process and the increasing dominance of carbon markets as a false solution to the climate crisis. It’s amazing that all of these issues that were some of the rallying points of the Climate Justice Action network in the Copenhagen talks in 2009 were already being articulated in an almost identical manner almost ten years previously. A group in the UK started using Rising Tide itself as an organisational identity, and while the network didn’t continue to function in subsequent COPs, groups in other countries like North America and Australia (both of which are still active to date) also adopted the name and the political principles.