A Day of Art @OccupyCOP17

Today at Occupy COP17 we were accompanied by an incredible live art piece by Durban based artist Ewok, reinterpreting Angie Vanessita’s beautiful image for Oilwatch.

The GA kicked off with two amazing mic-checked poems from Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth International. First up was We Thought it was Oil, but it was Blood. Which was followed by…

I will not dance to your beat

I will not dance to your beat
If you call plantations forests
I will not sing with you
If you privatise my water
I will confront you with my fists
If climate change means death to me but business to you
I will expose your evil greed
If you don’t leave crude oil in the soil
Coal in the hole and tar sands in the land
I will confront and denounce you
If you insist on carbon offsetting and other do-nothing false solutions
I will make you see red
If you keep talking of REDD and push forest communities away from their land
I will drag you to the Climate Tribunal
If you pile up ecological debt
& refuse to pay your climate debt
I will make you drink your own medicine
If you endorse genetically modified crops
And throw dust into the skies to mask the sun
I will not dance to your beat
Unless we walk the sustainable path
And accept real solutions & respect Mother Earth
Unless you do
I will not &
We will not dance to your beat

We were also joined by our sisters and brothers from the Indigenous Environment Network, who had been protesting outside a Shell refinery in Durban. Speakers from First Nations communities in North America spoke powerfully about the effects extractive industries, especially the tar sands, are having on them and the environment. Occupy COP17 stands in solidarity with IEN in opposing these industries and their financial and political backers. We echo their rallying call SHUT DOWN TAR SANDS. Apparently we all need to shout louder though, as the Canadian government looks like it will pull out of Kyoto.

An afternoon banner making workshop produced lots of huge banners that will be used in actions in the coming days.

And speaking of protests…

Tomorrow, Thursday 1 Dec,  Occupy COP17 will be joining in with World Bank Out of Climate activities and actions. Starting at 1pm in the usual place, Speakers Corner, junction of Walnut Rd and Bram Fischer. Please join us!

The next proper General Assembly will be on Friday, meeting as usual at speakers corner at 1pm, but we might then be heading out to an exciting new location, to engage with and involve many more people. Come and be part of the action!

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