Fake Forest Day was held on Sunday, December 4th in the University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban, South Africa during the UN Conference of Polluters (COP-17). Below is a short video summarizing the presentations of this day-long event, organized by Global Forest Coalition and Timberwatch Coalition.
Tag Archives: cop-17
Note: This official statement below, from Kevin Buckland, was sent to the UN today regarding Orin Langelle’s Formal Complaint Against UN Security and the response Langelle received from the UN’s John Hay, UN Media Relations Officer. [See the response from the UN that Climate Connections posted last Friday: UN denies security used undue force when smashing camera into photographer’s face] Langelle was on assignment for Z Magazine and he is also the board chair for Global Justice Ecology Project. We will continue to keep you posted as things develop.-The GJEP Team
To Whom it May Concern,
I am writing to submit an official statement regarding an act of violence that occurred inside the ICC on December 8th, 2011 in Durban, South Africa by a member of the UNFCCC Security. As mentioned in the official complaint filed by Orin Langelle, I was being escorted by security after giving an interview wearing a traditional clown costume (at this moment, I will not raise question as to the legitimacy of this expulsion). Upon descending a staircase, a reporter, Orin Langelle, began to loudly question the security officer asking (I do not recall the exact wording): “Is this man being expelled from the conference? What rules have been broken? Are you arresting him?” At which point the security officer very quickly approached Mr. Langelle and grabbed the front of the lens of his camera covering it so he could not photograph. The officer did not attempt to remove the camera from Mr. Langelle, but instead decided to very aggressively physically pushed the camera into his face. Mr. Langelle was notably distraught after such an unwarranted act of violence. In the next 30 meters, from the bottom of the stairs to the security office, the same officer aggressively but nonviolently confiscated two more cameras of two other conference attendants who began to photograph the incident. The officer did give a warning to one of the photographers who was photographing immediately before taking his camera, but no warning was given to Mr. Langelle or the other photographer. The officer arrived to the security office with no less than 3 cameras he had confiscated (these were shortly returned).
As I was being informed of my expulsion from the conference. I commented to UNFCCC official Warren Waetford on the surprisingly aggressive attitude of the officer – considering there was absolutely no aggression besides his own. (I had been walking calmly behind him as I am sure he will acknowledge.) I recommended to Mr. Waetford that this unprovoked act of aggression be addressed, and would like to reiterate that recommendation now to the UNFCCC secretariat, and formally.
I also asked why any security officer had the right to confiscate cameras at will, and was informed that UNFCCC Security Officers have the right not to be photographed, but are required to ask photographers to stop photographing, and only if the photographer refused could the officer confiscate their cameras. In the case of Mr. Langelle and another unnamed photographer, no warning was given.
Finally, I would like to comment on the official response issued by the UN regarding this incident. It stated: “Our investigations indicate that it was necessary to clear a passage within the conference center that was being obstructed, in the interest of the safety of all participants and in the interest of the smooth operation of the conference. At no time was undue force applied in the exercise.” I would like to attest, as a witness to the incident, that this official statement is not true. If this statement derives from testaments by the arresting officer, then he has then both committed an act of violence and lied. No passage was blocked. It was the Security Guard who first approached Mr. Langelle because of his loud questioning, straying from the most direct path to the security office, and without any verbal warnings violently and aggressively took his camera. Undue force was very clearly applied.
I believe this incident should call into question the UNFCCC’s prohibition on documentation of its own security forces. As this case demonstrates – a clear violation both of the policy of giving warnings before confiscation of cameras, as well as an unwarranted act of violence, occurred. If we are denied even the freedom of press to protect ourselves against violence by armed officials inside a space under the jurisdiction of the United Nations, then the UN itself is complicit in the tyranny it was founded to confront.
This year’s UN Climate Conference of the Parties (COP-17) inDurban, South Africa, nicknamed “The Durban Disaster,” took the dismalt track record of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to new lows. At one point, it appeared that the talks might actually collapse, but a small cabal of 20-30 countries held exclusive closed-door talks over the final days to create the Durban Platform, which carbon analyst Matteo Mazzoni described as “an agreement between parties to arrange another agreement.”
The details of the platform will not be completed until 2015 and will not be implemented until 2020, leading many to charge that the 2010s will be the lost decade in the fight to stop climate catastrophe. Pablo Solón, the former Ambassador to the UN for the Plurinational state of Bolivia, summed up the negotiations this way: “The Climate Change Conference ended two days later than expected, adopting a set of decisions that were known only a few hours before their adoption. Some decisions were not even complete at the moment of their consideration. Paragraphs were missing and some delegations didn’t even have copies of these drafts. The package of decisions was released by the South African presidency with the ultimatum, ‘Take it or leave it’.”
Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth International, similarly condemned the outcomes: “An increase in global temperatures of four degrees Celsius permitted under this plan is a death sentence forAfrica, small island states, and the poor and vulnerable worldwide. This summit has amplified climate apartheid whereby the richest 1 percent of the world have decided that it is acceptable to sacrifice the 99%percent.”
Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the North America-based Indigenous Environmental Network, went even further, calling the outcome, “climate racism, ecocide, and genocide of an unprecedented scale.”
The UN, on the other hand, trumpeted the success of the conference at “saving tomorrow, today.” One of the great achievements touted by Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC, was the renewed commitment to the Kyoto Protocol (KP): “…countries, citizens, and businesses who have been behind the rising global wave of climate action can now push ahead confidently, knowing that Durban has lit up a broader highway to a low-emission, climate resilient future.”
To read the entire article, please visit the Z Magazine website
To view Orin Langelle’s Photo essays from Durban, go to:
To read the associated blog post by Anne Petermann, go to: Showdown at the Durban Disaster, Challenging the Big Green Patriarchy
• Corporations control UN conference as Big NGOs attempt to stifle grassroots’ dissent
• The Durban disaster marks the lost decade in the fight against climate change
WHO: Global Justice Ecology Project’s Anne Petermann and Orin Langelle, along with Keith Brunner and Lindsey Gillies (all from VT); including special live-stream report from Jeff Conant in Oakland. All five speakers were present at the UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa last month.
WHERE: Fletcher Free Library, 235 College Street, Burlington, VT from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Free and open to the public.
WHEN: Wednesday, January 11th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
The UN Climate Conference in Durban took place from November 28th to December 10th 2011
Sponsored by: Burlington Action Against Nukes and the Environmental Action Group of Occupy Burlington
Notes: Both Petermann and Brunner were carried out of the talks by UN security, ejected from the UN grounds and turned over to the South African police for staging an unpermitted sit-in protest of the corporate take-over of the negotiations. Gillies was also ejected. See http://wp.me/pDT6U-3hX
The entire two weeks in Durban were marred with controversy, which included the corporate takeover of the UN climate talks, heavy handed security measures to prevent civil society participation in the talks, and the attempt by “Big Green” Non Governmental Organizations (i.e. Greenpeace and 350.org) to control a major “Occupy” protest there. This attempted control of dissent prompted Petermann to write a controversial critique of the big NGOs, titled “Showdown at the Durban Disaster: Challenging the Big Green Patriarchy.” See http://wp.me/pDT6U-3iE
Burlington, VT–Global Justice Ecology Project’s Anne Petermann, Orin Langelle and Jeff Conant along with Keith Brunner and Lindsey Gillies will give a report back from last month’s controversial UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa on Wednesday, January 11, at the Fletcher Free Library Community Room in Burlington, Vermont from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. All five presenters were in Durban for the climate negotiations.
Fletcher Free Library is located at 235 College Street in Burlington, VT. Burlington Action Against Nukes and the Environmental Action Group of Occupy Burlington are sponsoring the event, which is free and open to the public.
“The Durban disaster marks the lost decade in the fight against climate change,” said Anne Petermann, Executive Director of GJEP, whose international office is in Hinesburg, VT. “These talks accomplished nothing except to delay any implementation of a UN plan to stop climate change until 2020,” she stated.
Both Petermann and Brunner were carried out of the talks by UN security, ejected from the UN grounds and turned over to the South African police for staging an unpermitted sit-in protest of the corporate take-over of the negotiations.  Gillies was also ejected.
Earlier that week, photojournalist Orin Langelle, on assignment for Z Magazine, had his camera shoved into his face by a UN security officer because Langelle was taking a photograph of the officer ejecting a person who was giving an interview to the media following a UN-approved Global Justice Ecology Project press conference. This incident led Langelle to file a formal complaint against UN security.  Langelle will show his documentary photographs of the “Durban Disaster” at the upcoming event.
Jeff Conant, Global Justice Ecology Project’s Communications Director who was also present in Durban, will take part via live-stream from the GJEP Oakland, CA office to discuss the perspectives of other climate justice groups on the Durban negotiations.
The entire two weeks in Durban were marred with controversy, which included the corporate takeover of the UN climate talks, heavy handed security measures to prevent civil society participation in the talks, and the attempt by “Big Green” Non Governmental Organizations (i.e. Greenpeace and 350.org) to control a major “Occupy” protest there. This attempted control of dissent prompted Petermann to write a controversial critique of the big NGOs, titled “Showdown at the Durban Disaster: Challenging the Big Green Patriarchy.” 
 Global Justice Ecology Project Director Anne Petermann Ejected from COP17 http://wp.me/pDT6U-3hX
 Formal Complaint Filed Against UN Security Actions in Durban http://wp.me/pDT6U-3jy
 Showdown at the Durban Disaster: Challenging the ‘Big Green’ Patriarchy http://wp.me/pDT6U-3iE
Note: Anne Petermann and I went to our first UNFCCC COP (Conference of the Polluters) in 2004 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. One of my first observations was that this was a bizarre trade show–from ‘clean coal’ to ‘clean nuclear’ to a clean way to get fucked. Smile. I was not impressed. Well, going into the exhibition center was more exciting than the plenaries packed with, for the most part, suited charlatans. Fast forward to Montreal, Nairobi, Bali, Poznan, Copenhagen, Cancún and now all the way to Durban, South Africa; and guess what?–the 1% have been and still are in control (for now). But one of the good things that has happened over these years is that the resistance has risen from a couple of handfuls of us to thousands. It is evident to GJEP that the COP process is nothing more than the rich figuring out how to make more money off Mother Earth and her inhabitants under the guise of addressing climate change. So this photo essay, with text by Anne Petermann, is my parting shot to this entire unjust, racist, classist, land-grabbing COP crap. No to the next meeting in Dubai and yes to mobilization for the Peoples Summit during Rio +20. GJEP will continue to support the social movements, Indigenous Peoples and those who struggle for justice. Please enjoy the trade show photos and note that the last two photos in this series show the discrepancy between the 1% and the 99%. Orin Langelle for the GJEP Team.
All photos: Langelle/GJEP Captions: Anne Petermann
“Ohm…no Fukushimi…Ohm…no Fukushima…”
What the World Bank said…
“We magically transform ancient tropical forests into biodiesel plantations!. Birds love ’em! (F*#k the orangutans).”
People need nature to thrive–which is why we have to protect nature from them!
“Screw you anti-capitalist NGO bastards. Market-based schemes like the CDM are the best solution to climate change! So what if they don’t reduce carbon emissions. Piss off.”
How the 1% live. The pretentious Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel in Durban was host to the World Climate Summit, 3-4 December, which was a high-level and high-security event where business, finance and government leaders met to celebrate the glory of their green-ness with events like “The Gigatonne Award” for whatever company’s PR campaign was the biggest pile of “green” manure.
The following week the corporate conference sponsors offered side events for UN government delegates on the theme of “Advancing Public-Private Partnerships for REDD+ and Green Growth” i.e. how to ensure profit-making as usual in the face of ecological collapse and rising public outrage.
How the 99% live. This tent was where the delegation met that came to Durban with La Via Campesina, the world’s largest peasant organization. Their slogan, Small Farmers Cool the Planet, confronts the myth that governments and the UN will take care of climate change for us and promotes the idea that bottom up, small scale, community-controlled and bioregionally appropriate solutions are what is needed. The building behind the tent was where La Via slept and ate meals–not as pretentious as the Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel, but the people were real.
By Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project
Dedicated to Judi Bari, Emma Goldman, my mother and all of the other strong women who inspire me
An action loses all of its teeth when it is orchestrated with the approval of the authorities. It becomes strictly theater for the benefit of the media. With no intent or ability to truly challenge power.
I hate actions like that.
And so it happened that I wound up getting ejected from one such action after challenging its top-down, male domination. I helped stage an unsanctioned ‘sit-in’ at the action with a dozen or so others who were tired of being told what to do by the authoritarian male leadership of the “big green’ action organizers–Greenpeace and 350.org.
I had no intention of being arrested that day. I came to the action at the UN Climate Convention center in Durban, South Africa on a whim, hearing about it from one of GJEP’s youth delegates who sent a text saying to show up outside of the Sweet Thorne room at 2:45.
So GJEP co-Director Orin Langelle and I went there together, cameras at the ready.
We arrived to a room filled with cameras. Still cameras, television cameras, flip cameras–whatever was planned had been well publicized. That was my first clue as to the action’s true nature. Real direct actions designed to break the rules and challenge power are generally not broadly announced. It’s hard to pull off a surprise action with dozens of reporters and photographers milling around.
After ten or so minutes, a powerful young voice yelled “mic check!” and the action began. A young man from 350.org was giving a call and response “mic check” message and initiating chants like “we stand with Africa,” “We want a real deal,” and “Listen to the people, not the polluters.” Many of the youth participants wore “I [heart] KP” t-shirts–following the messaging strategy of the ‘big greens,’ who were bound and determined to salvage something of the Kyoto Protocol global warming agreement, regardless of whether or not it would help stop climate catastrophe.
The messaging and choreography of the action were tightly controlled for the first hour or so by the male leadership. The growing mass of youth activists and media moved slowly down the cramped corridor toward the main plenary room and straight into a phalanx of UN security who stood as a human blockade, hands tightly gripped into the belts of the officers on either side. I found myself wedged between the group and the guards.
Pink badges (parties) and orange badges (media) were allowed through the barricade, but yellow badges (NGOs) were strictly forbidden–unless one happened to be one of the ‘big green’ male leadership. They miraculously found themselves at various times on either side of the barricade. The Greenpeace banners, I might add, were also displayed on the non-blockaded side of security, providing a perfect visual image for the media: Greenpeace banners in front of the UN Security, who were in front of the mass of youth. This was another indication that the “action” was not what it appeared to be. No, the rising up of impassioned youth taking over the hallway of the climate convention to demand just and effective action on climate change was just a carefully calculated ‘big green’ photo op.
There was wild applause when Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace (at that moment on the protester side of the security barricade) introduced the Party delegate from The Maldives–one of the small island nations threatened with drowning under rising sea levels. He addressed the crowd with an impassioned plea for help. Later, the official delegate from Egypt was introduced and, with a great big grin, gave his own mic check about the power youth in his country had had in making great change. He was clearly thrilled to be there in that throbbing mass of youthful exuberance.
But as with many actions that bring together such a diversity of people (youth being a very politically broad constituency), at a certain point the action diverged from the script. The tightly controlled messaging of the pre-arranged mic checks, began to metamorphose as youth began to embody the spirit of the occupy movement, from which the “mic check” had been borrowed. New people began calling mic check and giving their own messages. Unsanctioned messages such as “World Bank out of climate finance,” “no REDD,” “no carbon markets” and “occupy the COP” began to emerge as repeated themes. At first, the action’s youth leaders tried to counter-mic check and smother these unauthorized messages, but eventually they were overwhelmed.
After a few hours of this, with no sign of the energy waning, the “big green” male leadership huddled with security to figure out what to do with this anarchistic mass. Kumi, or it might have been Will Bates from 350.org, explained to the group that they had talked it over with UN security and arranged for the group to be allowed to leave the building and continue the protest just outside, where people could yell and protest as long as they wished.
This is a typical de-escalation tactic. A group is led out of the space where it is effectively disrupting business as usual to a space where it can easily be ignored in exchange for not being arrested. In my experience, this is a disempowering scenario where energy rapidly fizzles, and people leave feeling deflated.
I feared that this group of youth, many of whom were taking action for the first or second time in their lives, and on an issue that was literally about taking back control over their very future, would leave feeling disempowered. I could feel the frustration deep in my belly. We need to be building a powerful movement for climate justice, not using young people as pawns in some twisted messaging game.
There was clear dissention within the protest. People could feel the power of being in that hallway and were uneasy with the option of leaving. Finally I offered my own ‘mic check.’ “While we are inside,” I explained, “the delegates can hear us. If we go outside, we will lose our voice.”
But the ‘big green’ patriarchy refused to cede control of the action to the youth. They ratcheted up the pressure. “If you choose to stay,” Kumi warned, “you will lose your access badge and your ability to come back into this climate COP and any future climate COPs.” Knowing this to be patently untrue, I cut him off. “That’s not true! I was de-badged last year and here I am today!” This took Kumi completely by surprise–that someone was challenging his authority (he was clearly not used to that)–and he mumbled in reply, “well, that’s what I was told by security.”
Will Bates, who was on the “safe” side of the security line, explained that UN security was giving the group “a few minutes to think about what you want to do.” While the group pondered, Will reminded the group that anyone who refused to leave would lose their badge and their access to the COP. “That’s not letting us make up our minds!” yelled a young woman.
I felt compelled to give the group some support. I mic checked again, “there is nothing to fear/ about losing your badge,” I explained, adding, “Being debadged/ is a badge of honor.”
After the question was posed about how many people planned to stay, and dozens of hands shot up, the pressure was laid on thicker. This time the ‘big green’ patriarchy warned that if we refused to leave, not only would we be debadged, UN security would escort us off the premises and we would be handed over to South African police and charged with trespass.
At that a young South African man stood up and defiantly raised his voice. “I am South African. This is my country. If you want to arrest anyone for trespass, you will start with me!” he said gesturing at his chest. Then he said, “I want to sing Shosholoza!”
Shosholoza is a traditional South African Folk song that was sung in a call and response style by migrant workers that worked in the South African mines.
The group joined the young South African man in singing Shosholoza and soon the entire hallway was resounding with the powerful South African workers’ anthem.
Once consensus was clearly established to do an occupation and anyone that did not want to lose his or her badge had left, Kumi piped up again. “Okay. I have spoken with security and this what we are going to do. Then he magically walked through UN security blockade. “We will remove our badge (he demonstrated this with a grand sweeping gesture pulling the badge and lanyard over his head) and hand it over to security as we walk out of the building. We do not anyone to be able to accuse of us trying to disrupt the talks.”
That really made me mad. The top down, male-dominated nature of the action and the coercion being employed to force the youth activists to blindly obey UN security was too much. I’d been pushed around by too many authoritarian males in my life to let this one slide, so I mic checked again. “We just decided/ that we want to stay/ to make our voices heard/ and now we are being told/ how to leave!” “I will not hand my badge to security. I am going to sit right here and security can take it.”
And I sat down cross-legged on the floor, cursing my luck for choosing to wear a skirt that day. Gradually, about a dozen other people–mostly youth–sat down with me, including Keith and Lindsey–two of our Global Justice Ecology Project youth contingent.
But still the male leadership wouldn’t let it go. I’ve never seen activists so eager to do security’s work for them. “Okay,” Kumi said, “but when security taps you on the shoulder, you have to get up and leave with them. We are going to be peaceful, we don’t want any confrontation.” Sorry, but in my experience, civil disobedience and non-compliance are peaceful acts. And I find it impossible to imagine that meaningful change will be achieved without confrontation.
At some point from the floor, I decided I should explain to the crowd who I was. I mic checked. “I come from the United States/ which has historically been/ one of the greatest obstacles/ to addressing climate change. I am sitting down/ in the great tradition/ of civil disobedience/ that gave women the right to vote/ won civil rights/ and helped stop the Vietnam War.”
About that time, a young woman named Karuna Rana, from the small island of Mauritius, off the southeast coast of Africa, sat down in front of me and spoke up. “I am the only young person here from Mauritius. These climate COPs have been going for seventeen years! And what have they accomplished? Nothing! My island is literally drowning and so I am sitting down to take action–for my people and for my island. Something must be done.” Her voice, from such a small person, was powerful indeed. An hour or two later, while standing in the chilly rain at the Speakers’ Corner across the street after we’d been ejected from the COP, she told me that it was my action that had inspired her to sit down. “You inspired me by standing up to the people that wanted us to leave.” I told her that her bravery had similarly inspired me.
Kumi led a group of protesters down the hall, handing his badge to UN security. Those of us who remained sitting on the floor were next approached by security. One by one, people were tapped on the shoulder and stood up to walk out and be debadged. Keith, who was sitting next to me said, “Are you going to walk out?” “No.”
Security tapped us and said, “C’mon, you have to leave.” “No.” Keith and I linked arms.
Then the security forcibly removed all of the media that remained. I watched Orin, who was taking photos of the event, as well as Amy Goodman and the crew of Democracy Now! be forced up the stairs and out of view. As they were removed, Amy yelled, “What’s your name?!” “Anne Petermann. I am the Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project.”
I was familiar with the unpleasant behavior of UN security from previous experiences, and so I was somewhat unnerved when security removed the media. Earlier in the week a UN security officer had shoved Orin’s big Nikon into his face when he was photographing the officer ejecting one of the speakers from our GJEP press conference who was dressed as a clown. Silly wigs are grounds for arrest at the UN.
One of the reasons that media have become targets of police and military violence all over the world is because they document the behavior of the authorities, and sometimes, depending on their intentions, the authorities don’t want their behavior documented. Not knowing what UN security had in store for us, I decided I should let the remaining people in the hall–who could no longer see Keith and I since we were sitting and completely surrounded by security–know what was happening. I explained at the top of my voice that that the media had been forced to leave, and encouraged anyone with a camera to come and take photos. The photos on this blog post by Ben Powless of Indigenous Environmental Network are some of the only ones I know of that document our arrests.
They took Keith first, hauling him away with officers grabbing him by his legs and under his arms and rushing him into the plenary hall–which, we found out, had been earlier emptied of all of the UN delegates so the racket outside would not disturb them. I was then loaded into a wheelchair by two female security guards. A male guard grabbed my badge and roughly yanked it, tearing it free from the lanyard, “I’ll take that,” he sneered. I was then unceremoniously wheeled through the empty plenary, past the security fence and into the blocked off street, where I was handed over to South African police.
“They’re all yours,” said the UN security who then left. The South African police discussed what to do with us. “What did they do?” asked one. “They sat down.” “Sat down?” “Yes, sat down. They are environmentalists or something.” “Let’s just take them out of here.” So I was loaded into the police van, where Keith sat waiting, and we were driven around the corner, past the conference center and to the “Speakers’ Corner” across the street, where the outside “Occupy COP 17” activists had been having daily general assemblies during the two weeks of the climate conference. “Hey, that’s cool,” said Keith. “We got a free ride to the Speakers’ Corner.”
I was told later that Kumi was the first arrested and had been led out of the building in plastic handcuffs, offering a beautiful Greenpeace photo op for the media. I rolled my eyes. “You’ve GOT to be kidding me. They used HANDcuffs??? Gimme a break.” More theater. Greenpeace is nothing if not good at working the media with theatrical drama such as pre-orchestrated arrests. Kumi may not have wanted to lose his badge, but he made the most of it. At the Speakers’ Corner following our arrests, the media flocked to him while I stood on the sidelines. The articles about the protest in many of the papers the next day featured Kumi speaking at the protest, Greenpeace banners prominent. The fact that it was a COP 17 occupation that he had repeatedly attempted to squelch somehow did not make it into the news.
I lost a lot of respect for Greenpeace that day.
But many of the youth also saw how it went down. I was thanked by several participants in the protest for standing up to the ‘big green’ male leadership and defending the right to occupy the space. I, myself was deeply grateful for the opportunity to do something that felt actually meaningful in that lifeless convention center where the most powerful countries of the world played deadly games with the future.
Cross-Posted from Wihd Wihd Online on Dec 15, 2011
• Agreement with “legal force” is “planned” to be ready only by 2015, effective only 2020
• Second commitment period for enfeebled Kyoto Protocol
Imagine a mother tells her car-washing twins, who let the water just run from the hosepipe while they are already drying and polishing their beloved SUV – with idling engine and full-blast rap blurring from the speakers – to shut the engine, the car-stereo and first of all the water-tap.
And then imagine the two teens would, while turning the speakers even louder and let the engine revs roar, answer: “Well, we actually thought about this already twenty minutes ago and maybe we should, but we have to first built consensus – so please come back in about three minutes and thereafter, starting from around ten minutes from now, we will tell you if we will shut something down, who of us might shut what and to which extend or if we decide to not shut anything down at all.”
Everybody would assume that upon such response sparks would fly immediately in this scene of the mother and her twins.
But while Mother Earth tells us since the industrial revolution to plug our pollution and to not poison clean air or spoil precious water, and she actually had told us since the agricultural revolution to not cut forests for beef production, the governmental delegates in Durban, all grown up men and women, hug each other and clap and tap each others shoulders – most likely just in relief that no real sparks did fly, which deep down in their own consciousness they realize should actually have created a gigantic and holy fire-blast, cleaning the whole place from all the lies and deceptions.
But nothing like that happened, thanks and no-thanks also to armed Big-Brother-Preparedness of the UN inside and war-hardened South-African security forces outside the conference centre.
While the initial scenario is exactly what happened in Durban – there are only two differences: It’s not minutes, it’s years set as pondering time with no action, and the car-washers are the adult uncles and aunties, who were reminded only by some moderate voices of a few youth and young at heart and brain to better take care. Most of the young global population, who know that it is their future and no any longer the future of those expiring role models holding on to the steering wheel by all means, had no say and even didn’t want to go to this circus.
But who cares, some renegotiable pseudo-promises were printed on recycling papers for the mainstream media to further brainwash and massage the masses about a “landmark achievement”. That’s what counts and also that all available money was spent as well as some new honey-pots were opened for the already rich friends and friends of friends as well as “of course” oneself to prosper.
Distracted by the few coins thrown into their direction, even some representatives of indigenous peoples leave South Africa with the feeling they had achieved something. Well, for people on death-row every day more until the drop-door is opened might be worth celebrating, but is it just and is it a way forward for all? The answer is clearly no! It’s not people’s democracy, its diplomatic democrazy like when eight wolves and one sheep sit around the evening fire and vote what they will have for dinner.
Alas, used to these conference-dances on economic- and war-volcanoes already, the political god-fathers and -mothers, with their two-letter vehicles of EU, US or AU, their entourage on their three or four letter bicycles in tow and the UN bandwagon rumbling along, dance off to the next show ground: Rio+20, with another vision-blurring agenda already set in place and set in motion by the corporate players in the background – so that nothing will change for the better or for all and most importantly nothing must be allowed to change for the present monetary system based on global to local injustices just to prevail. Casino politics with the hope the world turns to shambles already before someone could hold these “officials” responsible.
But it is now only a question of time when the youth and the mentally young and bright finally and really will stand up and close the taps – anywhere and everywhere – and especially on overpaid and under-performing politicians and their entourage. Turning their back on unworthy state-governments is a first step, but certainly not enough, everybody realized.