Note: Last week Pacifica’s KPFK radio station’s tower was damaged by a wind storm in Los Angeles and was off the airwaves for a bit. For the last three years now we have been doing live reports from the UN climate conventions (Copenhagen, Cancun & now Durban) for The Sojourner Truth Show with Margaret Prescod. After missing a couple of reports from the conference here in Durban, we’re ready to resume. The next segment will be with Teresa Anderson of Gaia Foundation. She is their International Advocacy Officer and works on issues in Africa. She will adsress the attempt here in Durban to expand REDD (the forest carbon offset scheme) to include soils and agriculture and what that means for rural peasants and indigenous peoples in terms of displacement from their communities and lands–a major issue here at COP 17. STAY TUNED-WE WILL POST AS SOON AS WE CAN. Breaking news–phone lines to Durban jammed at the moment. Will re-schedule tomorrow.
-The GJEP Team
Tag Archives: Copenhagen/COP-15
Call for “System Change not Climate Change” Unites Global Movement
Note: The first post is the Poznan statement from the Climate Justice Now! alliance from 12 December 2008 after the UN climate talks that year. The second was published by CJN immediately following the Copenhagen UN climate talks in 2009. More than ever, we believe it’s time for the 1% who control the UN climate talks to do something for the climate–like get out of the way so that people and social movements can counter their false solutions to climate change with real grassroots solutions in order to avert climate catastrophe. The Earth can’t wait.
Follow our blogs from the Durban UN climate circus from 28 Nov – 10 Dec on Climate Connections.
-The GJEP Team
RADICAL NEW AGENDA NEEDED TO ACHIEVE CLIMATE JUSTICE
Poznan statement from the Climate Justice Now! alliance
12 December 2008
Members of Climate Justice Now! – a worldwide alliance of more than 160 organisations — have been in Poznan for the past two weeks closely following developments in the UN climate negotiations.
This statement is our assessment of the Conference of Parties (COP) 14, and articulates our principles for achieving climate justice.
THE URGENCY OF CLIMATE JUSTICE
We will not be able to stop climate change if we don’t change the neo-liberal and corporate-based economy which stops us from achieving sustainable societies. Corporate globalisation must be stopped.
The historical responsibility for the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions lies with the industrialised countries of the North. Even though the primary responsibility of the North to reduce emissions has been recognised in the Convention, their production and consumption habits continue to threaten the survival of humanity and biodiversity. It is imperative that the North urgently shifts to a low carbon economy. At the same time in order to avoid the damaging carbon intensive model of industrialisation, the South is entitled to resources and technology to make this transition.
We believe that any ´shared vision´ on addressing the climate crisis must start with climate justice and with a radical re-thinking of the dominant development model.
Indigenous Peoples, peasant communities, fisherfolk, and especially women in these communities, have been living harmoniously and sustainably with the Earth for millennia. They are not only the most affected by climate change, but also its false solutions, such as agrofuels, mega-dams, genetic modification, tree plantations and carbon offset schemes. Instead of market led schemes, their sustainable practices should be seen as offering the real solutions to climate change.
UNFCCC IN CRISIS
Governments and international institutions have to recognise that the Kyoto mechanisms have failed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – common but differentiated responsibilities, inter-generational equity, and polluter pays — have been undermined in favour of market mechanisms. The three main pillars of the Kyoto agreement –the clean development mechanism, joint implementation and emissions trading schemes — have been completely ineffective in reducing emissions, yet they continue to be at the center of the negotiations.
Kyoto is based on carbon-trading mechanisms which allow Northern countries to continue business as usual by paying for “clean development” projects in developing and transition countries. This is a scheme designed deliberately to allow polluters to avoid reducing emissions domestically. Clean development mechanism projects, which are supposed to support “sustainable development”, include infrastructure projects such as big dams and coal-fired power plants, and monoculture tree plantations. Not only do these projects fail to reduce carbon emissions, they accelerate the privatisation and corporate take-over of the natural world, at the expense of local communities and Indigenous Peoples.
Proposals on the table in Poznan are heading in the same direction.
In the current negotiations, industrialised countries continue to act on the basis of self-interest, using all their negotiating tactics to avoid their obligations to reduce carbon emissions, to finance adaptation and mitigation and transfer technology to the South.
In their pursuit of growth at any cost, many Southern governments at the talks are trading away the rights of their peoples and resources. We remind them that a climate agreement is not a trade agreement.
The main protagonists for climate stability – Indigenous Peoples, women, peasant and family farmers, fisherfolk, forest dependent communities, youth, and marginalised and affected communities in the global South and North, are systematically excluded. Despite repeated demands, Indigenous Peoples are not recognised as an official party to the negotiations. Neither are women’s voices and gender considerations recognised and included in the process.
At the same time, private investors are circling the talks like vultures, swooping in on every opportunity for creating new profits. Business and corporate lobbyists expanded their influence and monopolized conference space at Poznan. At least 1500 industry lobbyists were present either as NGOs or as members of government delegations.
The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) scheme could create the climate regime’s largest ever loophole, giving Northern polluters yet another opportunity to buy their way out of emissions reductions. With no mention of biodiversity or Indigenous Peoples’ rights, this scheme might give a huge incentive for countries to sell off their forests, expel Indigenous and peasant communities, and transform forests into tree plantations under corporate-control. Plantations are not forests. Privatisation and dispossession through REDD or any other mechanisms must be stopped.
The World Bank is attempting to carve a niche in the international climate change regime. This is unacceptable as the Bank continues to fund polluting industries and drive deforestation by promoting industrial logging and agrofuels. The Bank’s recently launched Climate Investment Funds goes against government initiatives at the UN and promotes dirty industries such as coal, while forcing developing countries into the fundamentally unequal aid framework of donor and recipient. The World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility aiming to finance REDD through a forest carbon mechanism serves the interest of private companies and opens the path for commodification of forests.
These developments are to be expected. Market ideology has totally infiltrated the climate talks, and the UNFCCC negotiations are now like trade fairs hawking investment opportunities.
THE REAL SOLUTIONS
Solutions to the climate crisis will not come from industrialised countries and big business. Effective and enduring solutions will come from those who have protected the environment – Indigenous Peoples, women, peasant and family farmers, fisherfolk, forest dependent communities, youth and marginalised and affected communities in the global South and North. These include:
- Achieving low carbon economies, without resorting to offsetting and false solutions such as nuclear energy and “clean coal”, while protecting the rights of those affected by the transition, especially workers.
- Keeping fossil fuels in the ground.
- Implementing people’s food and energy sovereignty.
- Guaranteeing community control of natural resources.
- Re-localisation of production and consumption, prioritising local markets
- Full recognition of Indigenous Peoples, peasant and local community rights,
- Democratically controlled clean renewable energy.
- Rights based resource conservation that enforces indigenous land rights and promotes peoples sovereignty and public ownership over energy, forests, seeds, land and water
- Ending deforestation and its underlying causes.
- Ending excessive consumption by elites in the North and in the South.
- Massive investment in public transport
- Ensuring gender justice by recognising existing gender injustices and involving women in decision making.
- Cancelling illegitimate debts claimed by northern governments and IFIs. The illegitimacy of these debts is underscored by the much greater historical, social and ecological debts owed to people of the South.
We stand at the crossroads. We call for a radical change in direction to put climate justice and people’s rights at the centre of these negotiations.
In the lead-up to the 2009 COP 15 at Copenhagen and beyond, the Climate Justice Now! alliance will continue to monitor governments and to mobilise social forces from the south and the north to achieve climate justice.
Call for “System Change not Climate Change” Unites Global Movement
Corrupt Copenhagen ‘accord’ exposes gulf between peoples demands and elite political interests
The highly anticipated UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen ended with a fraudulent agreement, engineered by the United States and dropped into the conference at the last moment. The “agreement” was not adopted. Instead, it was “noted” in an absurd parliamentary invention designed to accommodate the United States and permit Ban Ki-moon to utter the ridiculous pronouncement “We have a deal.”
The UN conference was unable to deliver solutions to the climate crisis, or even minimal progress toward them. Instead, the talks were a complete betrayal of impoverished nations and island states, producing nothing but embarrassment for the United Nations and the Danish government. In a conference designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions there was very little talk of emission reductions. Rich, developed countries continued to delay any talk of drastic reductions, instead shifting the burden to less developed countries and showing no willingness to make reparations for the damage they have caused.
The Climate Justice Now! coalition, alongside other networks, was united here at COP15 in the call for System Change, Not Climate Change. In contrast, the Copenhagen climate conference itself demonstrated that real solutions, as opposed to false, market-based solutions, will not be adopted until we overcome the existing unjust political and economic system.
Government and corporate elites here in Copenhagen made no attempt to satisfy the expectations of the world. False solutions and corporations completely co-opted the United Nations process. The global elite would like to privatize the atmosphere through carbon markets; carve up the remaining forests, bushes and grasslands of the world through the abandonment of indigenous rights and land-grabbing; convert real forests into monoculture tree plantations and agricultural soils into carbon sinks; and complete the capitalist enclosure of commons. Virtually every proposal discussed in Copenhagen was based on a desire to create opportunities for profit rather than to reduce emissions.
The only discussions of real solutions in Copenhagen took place in social movements. Climate Justice Now!, Climate Justice Action and Klimaforum09 articulated many creative ideas and attempted to deliver those ideas to the UN Climate Change Conference through the Klimaforum09 People’s Declaration and the Reclaim Power People’s Assembly. Among nations, the ALBA countries, many African nations and AOSIS often echoed the messages of the climate justice movement, speaking of the need to repay climate debt, create mitigation and adaptation funds outside of neoliberal institutions like the World Bank and IMF, and keep global temperature increase below 1.5 degrees.
The UN and the Danish government served the interests of the rich, industrialized countries, excluding our voices and the voices of the least powerful throughout the world, and attempting to silence our demands to talk about real solutions. Nevertheles, our voices grew stronger and more united day by day during the two-week conference. As we grew stronger, the mechanisms implemented by the UN and the Danish for the inclusion of civil society grew more dysfunctional, repressive and undemocratic, very much like the WTO and Davos. Social movement participation was limited throughout the conference, drastically curtailed in week two, and several civil society organizations even had their admission credentials revoked midway through the second week. At the same time, corporations continued lobbying inside the Bella Center.
Outside the conference, the Danish police extended the repressive framework, launching a massive clampdown on the right to free expression and arresting and beating thousands, including civil society delegates to the climate conference. Our movement overcame this repression to raise our voices in protest over and over again. Our demonstrations mobilized more than 100,000 people in Denmark to press for climate justice, while social movements around the world mobilized hundreds of thousands more in local climate justice demonstrations. In spite of repression by the Danish government and exclusion by the United Nations, the movement for system change not climate change is now stronger than when we arrived in Denmark.
While Copenhagen has been a disaster for climate solutions, it has been an inspiring watershed moment in the battle for climate justice. The governments of the elite have no solutions to offer, but the climate justice movement has provided strong vision and clear alternatives. Copenhagen will be remembered as an historic event for global social movements. It will be remembered, along with Seattle and Cancun, as a critical moment when the diverse agendas of many social movements coalesced and became stronger, asking in one voice for system change, not climate change.
The Climate Justice Now! coalition calls for social movements around the world to mobilize in support of climate justice.
We will take our struggle forward not just in climate talks, but on the ground and in the streets, to promote genuine solutions that include:
– leaving fossil fuels in the ground and investing instead in appropriate energy-efficiency and safe, clean and community-led renewable energy
– radically reducing wasteful consumption, first and foremost in the North, but also by Southern elites.
– huge financial transfers from North to South, based on the repayment of climate debts and subject to democratic control. The costs of adaptation and mitigation should be paid for by redirecting military budgets, progressive and innovative taxes and debt cancellation.
– rights-based resource conservation that enforces Indigenous land rights and promotes peoples’ sovereignty over energy, forests, land and water.
sustainable family farming and fishing, and peoples’ food sovereignty.
We are committed to building a diverse movement – locally and globally – for a better world.
Note: Stine and Tannie are good friends of Global Justice Ecology Project. We got to know them through the year and a half of organizing meetings under the “Climate Justice Action” umbrella in preparation for “Reclaim Power” action at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. We deplore the fact that they are being scapegoated and charged under Danish anti-terrorism laws. Stine and Tannie are participants in our New Voices on Climate Change Program. We stand in solidarity with Stine and Tannie and echo the demand that all of their charges be dropped. We will post updates and action alerts as we receive them.
–The GJEP Team
From the Climate Collective
With the beginning of the new trial, Climate Collective expresses once again its solidarity and support to the climate activists Stine and
Tannie that are facing charges in relation to the ‘Reclaim Power! Pushing for Climate Justice’ action that took place during the protests
against COP15 in 2009. Stine and Tannie acted as spokespersons for the Climate Justice Action (CJA) network, communicating and explaining the Reclaim Power! action to the media. Reclaim Power was built and planned on consensus in open, international meetings that took place before and during COP15 in Copenhagen. Climate Collective finds it outrageous that two activists are made responsible for the actions of an entire movement.
After being sentenced to four months on probation, yesterday the appeal case started at the second court level. Climate Collective support Stine
and Tannie’s position and demand once again for all charges to be dropped. The trial will continue until mid next week and it is not yet
clear when a final verdict will be announced.
Updates on the court case will be posted on climatecollective.org in the coming days.
Global Justice Ecology Project’s 2009 Annual Report is now online. You can find the link to download the 10 page by clicking here.
What You Will Find in Our 2009 Annual Report:
• GJEP’s Climate Justice Program: Accomplishments at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark; and building the climate justice movement in North America
• Updates on the STOP GE Trees Campaign and our work in support of the rights of Indigenous and forest-dependent communities
• Media Support work: The Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change
• New Voices on Climate Change: Fall Tour and G20 Protests in Pittsburgh
• GJEP’s Visual Impact: the photography of Orin Langelle
• GJEP’s work in Vermont
• Global Forest Coalition
• 2009 Financial Report
Danish Court Sentences Nonviolent Activists Arrested During Protests Against UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009: Free Speech Criminalized
Today, the Copenhagen District Court found Stine Gry Jonassen and Tannie Nyboe guilty in charges of being organisers and instigators of violence and vandalism. The incident took place on 16th of December at Bella Center last year during the climate summit in Copenhagen. The two women were sentenced to four months of probation. One of the judges disagreed with the verdict and thought the accused should be freed of all charges.
Stine Gry and Tannie Nyboe both acted as spokespersons for the Global
Network “Climate Justice Action” (CJA) and Stine was accredited as an official UN Observer through Global Justice Ecology Project. Both Stine and Tannie are members of Global Justice Ecology Project’s New Voices on Climate Change program. Find their bios by clicking here
During the Cop15 last year, CJA organised several non-violent civil
disobedience protests, including the “Reclaim Power – Push for Climate
Justice” rally on 16th of December. The two women were both the public
facesof the movement and they are now found guilty in charges of being organisers and instigators of violence and riots. They are both deeply shocked by the outcome of the trial and are now considering an appeal.
Stine Gry considers the whole trial absurd:
*“There has been a clear political rationale with these trials. It is
obvious that Tannie and I were accused because we acted as public faces of the movement. This trial sends a significant message: if you have the nerve to stand up and express a critical point of view of society, the authorities will do whatever they can to silence you. It is absurd that a large public movement as CJA is criminalised because they – as one of the few – dared to criticise the ongoing climate negotiations during the summit; especially in the light of how poorly things turned out with the negotiations and how criticisable Denmark’s role was. The verdict is a defeat for democracy because it hinders politically engaged people in using their democratic right to demonstrate and express themselves critically.” *
Tannie explains: *“It** is an evident political attempt to limit the opportunity to criticise the negotiations during the summit and the whole bedrock of the climate process. The right to demonstrate is an
essentialpart of democracy, despite it is the existing political
system that is being criticised. I really hope that people will still use their democratic right to express themselves critically, though one might risk being accused personally by the court. However, I fear that this case will scare people from protesting and organising themselves politically in the
future. Consequently it is just as big a defeat for the political work and democracy in Denmark,as it is for us personally.”
For further information, interviews etc. contact the Climate Collective’s
Phone: (+45) 50 58 87 51
Climate Justice Action (CJA) is a global network of social movements and groups, which mobilised and called out for protests during the climate summit in Copenhagen in December last year, in order to challenge the insubstantial political negotiations at the Bella Centre and demanding just solutions to the climate problems. On 16th of December, CJA organised the demonstration “Reclaim Power – Push for Climate Justice” to give voice to the people mostly affected by climate changes – the same people who were not heard inside the Bella Centre.
At the time, Stine Gry and Tannie were spokespersons for the movement and argued for the right to protest and for the freedom of speech. They are now found guilty in planning the “Reclaim Power” demonstration and of plotting violence against an official in function, of severe vandalism, of serious disturbance of public peace and order, and of illegal trespassing. Several hundred people were arrested in relation to the action, but none of these have since been accused anything illegal.
The trial of the two spokespersons took place in Copenhagen City Court on 6th, 27th, and 28th of October 2010 at 9.30 AM.
During the climate summit in Copenhagen, more than 2000 people were arrested preventively and held in custody while they were trying to have their voices heard. These people along with thousands of other people from around the world were trying to set a different and more just political agenda in the climate debate. Climate Justice Action, a global network of social movements and groups, was mobilizing and calling for a protest and people’s assembly to challenge the farcical political negotiations at the COP15. They demanded just solutions to the climate crisis, solutions that do not only favor the rich western world. On the 16th of December the CJA network organized the Reclaim Power – Push for Climate Justice action, to give a voice to those people marginalized by the negotiations and most affected by climate change.
This emerging climate justice movement was met with severe repression and an abuse of power from the Danish government. This was reflected in the form of massive detainment of protesters and targeting of alleged organizers of legal demonstrations. During 2009 the Danish government and the Danish police carried out an intense scare campaign in the media to demonize protesters and activists. Police were given extra legal powers and economic resources for the COP 15. This led to thousands of preventive arrests, month-long surveillance of telephones, raids of private homes and accommodations and grotesque and unnecessary detentions. Stine Gry and Tannie acted as spokespersons for CJA in the media during the whole COP period, arguing for the right to protest and against the massive police repression. They are now both being held personally responsible for the Reclaim Power – Push for Climate Justice action, and are facing charges including planning violence against police, gross vandalism, serious disturbance of public peace and order, and trespassing. Some of these charges are drawn from the Danish terror package and the penalties are strengthened by the new Danish anti-protester laws introduced just prior to the COP 15.
The main evidence against Stine Gry and Tannie is that they allegedly shouted “push” from the sound truck during the demonstration on the 16th, along with thousands of other protestors. The truth is, we all shouted “push!” on the 16th, and we all pushed together for climate justice on that day.
Solidarity Demonstration in Copenhagen
On the 29th of September there will be a solidarity demonstration in Copenhagen starting at 17:00 at Gammeltorv, in support of Stine Gry Jonassen and Tannie Nyboe, two spokespersons for the Climate Justice Action network (CJA) who will go on trial the 6th of October. They are accused of ‘organizing’ the Reclaim Power – Push for Climate Justice demonstration on the 16th of December in Copenhagen. We call out for everyone to act in solidarity on the 29th of September through demonstrations and statements of support and solidarity, including demonstrations and manifestations outside Danish embassies, demanding that the charges be dropped against Stine and Tannie. You can contribute with a picture on online solidarity at: www.climatecollective.org/push
Call for actions
Through this trial the Danish state is trying to make two individuals responsible for a whole movement’s collective decision-making and collective protests. This is clearly an attempt to scare people from protesting and organizing politically, killing off all critical voices. It is a violation of the freedom of speech and our right to assembly. The right to protest and everyone’s right to be heard is an essential element in a democracy, even if you are speaking against the existing capitalist system. We therefore call on everyone to show solidarity with the accused on the 29th of September and make criticism of this ongoing repression visible.
To highlight the absurdity in the charges, we encourage people to take actions using the slogan “we also shouted push!”. Post your photos www.climatecollective.org/push and send your videos of solidarity actions to the climate collective (firstname.lastname@example.org), and let us know any information of actions that happen.
In Solidarity – The Climate Collective
We also shouted push: www.climatecollective.org/push
The trial dates of Stine Gry Jonassen and Tannie Nyboe are the 6th, 27th and 28th of October, but additional court days might be necessary.
From New Voices Speaker Ben Powless: The road from Copenhagen to Cochabamba passes through the Amazon – Part I
Published on rabble.ca (http://rabble.ca)
Soon thousands will meet in Cochabamba to talk climate justice. It is the voices of the Amazon we should listen to. A report from the Amazon.
The Amazon, it is often said, functions like the lungs of Mother Earth. The dense forest and undergrowth absorb much of the carbon dioxide that we manage to pump into the skies –- an ever more important and taxing effort in light of the threats to our climate.
Rio Wawas, Amazonas, Peru
In December, countries around the world gathered in Copenhagen to reach an agreement to protect the climate, even if purely face-saving, and failed. With that sour taste gone, Bolivia has invited governments, social movements, Indigenous Peoples, politicians, really anyone who cares, to attend the so-called World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth . The conference will be held the 19th-22nd in Cochabamba.
Ahead of that trip, I’ve flown into Lima, Peru to head back into the Amazon. It has been almost a year since the tragic day of June 5th, 2009 left over 30 people dead in the worst violence Peru has seen in modern history. The dispute was over a series of laws the government wanted to push through to open the Amazon to foreign companies, an effort linked to the Free Trade Agreement Peru’s President Alan Garcia signed with Canada and the United States. Amazon Indigenous Peoples resisted the laws with a blockade outside the town of Bagua, on the outskirts of the Amazon, and the government’s decision to send in armed forces still reverberates here. You can see my coverage from Peru last year here .
Bagua at Night
Indigenous groups here and elsewhere have maintained that their role in protecting their lands, their resources, their ecologies is paramount, and also serves the rest of humanity. In this case, the Awajun and Wampis peoples were concerned about the entry of oil companies into their lands, ultimately polluting the waters, the flora, the fauna, everything, as has been the case so many times in other parts of the Amazon.
A walk through the jungle outside Wawas, Amazonas, Peru
Bagua today is a much different place than in those tense days after June 5th, when military patrols roamed the streets, and a curfew kept people in hiding. Now, the only sense of tension was between teenage boys and girls in the plaza, whistling and blasting around on motorbikes. As they say, calm waters run deep, and the Amazon has a long memory.
I managed to catch up with Salomon Awananch, who since I ran into him last year, had been elevated to the position of Amazon Leader from his position leading the protests. He understood the protests had forced the government for the first time to seriously consider Indigenous cosmovisions. In order to further make the point, Amazon leaders had recently gathered to pass a resolution rejecting all transnational corporations from their lands, which has yet to be released. They are also heavily investing in an education plan which aims to keep Indigenous knowledge like traditional medicinal plant in use.
At one point, I asked him about the film Avatar. He laughed a bit, admitting he really enjoyed the film, despite having lived a similar experience in the “Baguatar” episode last year. His demeanour hardened. “But if that happened again, it would be a complete war, the end of all dialogue. We have been open to dialogue this whole time, but the government hasn’t had the will (voluntad) to talk. Next time we won’t be protesting on the roads, we would be in the forests and mountains, where we couldn’t be defeated.”
The main threat now? It’s a Canadian mining company, Dorato Resources . Dorato is looking for gold, one of the world’s oldest plunder-able resources, and Peru has much to offer as the 8h largest producer in the world. This mine would be unique, however, situated at the headwaters of the Cenepa River, in the Condor Mountain Range, a very sacred area to the Awajun and Wampis peoples who live downstream. For them, “you can’t touch this hill, you can’t interfere with it,” according to Edwin Montenegro, Secretary of the organization representing Indigenous Peoples of the north Amazon, ORPIAN.
Edwin Montenegro, explaining the Amazon river systems
“This mountain is very important to us. If it is destroyed, if the water is polluted, it is the end of all the Indigenous Peoples along the Cenepa,” continues Montenegro, from his office in Bagua. They also point out that this river flows into the Mariñon River, which flows into the Amazon – and any contaminants, such as mercury, would end up poisoning the Indigenous Peoples of all five water basins that make up the area. They even have a website , with a well-produced video overview, all in English.
“We need to do our own Environmental Impact Assessment to study the impacts. There are many understandings of man, territory and the forests. There exist great trees that have energy in them, and that force, that unity is lost when they are cut,” recounted Awananch. Even the mayor of Bagua has taken a stand against the mine. For the Awajun and Wampis, though, the stakes are much higher. “We’re ready to defend the land until the last consequences, and we have an agreement across the five basins of the Amazon to support our demands.”
Violeta, Widow of last year’s violence
I took a side trip to visit the Awajun communities of Wawas and La Curva, hours down the road from Bagua, where the families of victims of the 2009 violence lived. I had gone to drop off some photos to family members and other people in the community, but wasn’t expecting the results. Passing from community to community, by boat and jungle trail, we learned the loss of a community member had divided the community and many families, which was seen as the government’s fault, if not intention. After some unexpected conflict resolution, I was able to share the photos, which brought up many heartbreaking emotions from loved ones, and will hopefully help the children to remember. I also received testimony from Roman Jintach Chu, 45, who was also shot in the violence. In the end, Jintach’s family decided to honour me by naming a newborn baby after one of my family members.
Roman Jintach Chu
As I arrived in Lima on Monday, April 5th, a mining related protest  left six civilians dead and dozens wounded. Peru under Alan Garcia in particular has shown itself to be allergic to dialogue, and more than comfortable resolving disputes with a gun. This government is not alone in using force, when needed, to force compliance with corporate and governmental interests.
But it is the community members of places like Wawas and La Curva that must live with the consequences in the long term, and they are on the frontlines of protecting their rights, their environment, and in the end, all of us from the very activities that lead to climate calamities – loss of rainforest, oil refining, water poisoning. It is these very communities whose voices should be elevated and respected when pretending to be able to deal with a problem such as climate change while ignoring its predatory causes.
Community of Jaez
I left Bagua en route to Lamas, San Martin province, where Amazonian Kichwa communities were toiling to be recognized by the government and stop a biofuel company from taking their land. To be continued…
More photos will appear on Flickr .
Source URL (retrieved on Apr 16 2010 – 2:59pm): http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/ben-powless/2010/04/road-copenhagen-cochabamba-passes-through-amazon-part-i
Listen to Executive Director, Anne Petermann, give a 28 minute report-back on Copenhagen in a radio interview with Kellia Ramares from Broadcaster at Large: Challenging the Assumptions We Live By, which is also being broadcast through the Women’s International News Gathering Service (WINGS).
Click here for the website and then Click on “Podcast – Climate Justice” in the menu on the left side of the screen.