Phew, what an amazing first week at Occupy COP17! Hundreds of people took part in general assemblies and made decisions by consensus. Thousands took to the streets and marched for climate justice. There was singing and dancing, art and poetry, gardening and clowning. We heard from ambassadors from small island states that their homes are at risk of being sunk by rising sea levels. We heard from Nigeria that Africa is going to be cooked by rising temperatures. We heard from First Nations representatives from North America about extractive industries that are killing people and poisoning the land. We heard from representatives of dozens of countries that the World Bank’s involvement in climate finance is pushing market reforms that are catastrophic for people and the planet. And we heard from Bolivia that if there is to be any hope of averting these catastrophes then real and binding cuts in emissions must be made and that developed countries must pay their historical climate debt.
Now as COP17 moves into its second and final week and the bigwigs fly in for the “high level” segment of negotiations (that’s just what we need, bigger egos in the room), we will be stepping up our activities to make sure that the voices of the 99% are heard loud and clear in the ICC and beyond.
Every day we will have our usual general assembly at 1pm at Speakers Corner (junction of Walnut Rd and Bram Fischer). There will also be different themes and actions on each day.
Monday will be big business and climate change, as well as a group working on sorting out Speakers Corner to prepare for the week ahead.
Tuesday will focus on the processes we’ve been using, with teach-ins on consensus decision making and facilitation. We put a special call-out to the ambassadors and negotiators to the UN to come and learn some useful tools in reaching an equitable and fair consensus.
Wednesday we will focus on climate finance and will be releasing an exclusive video showing how and why market-based mechanisms such as carbon trading, offsetting, CMD and REDD are failing to halt emissions and are causing social and environmental chaos.
Thursday we will hear about and support local struggles in Durban and the surrounding area, with special reference to Occupy Durban and those who have been evicted from their dwellings
Friday is when the final negotiations will happen, when we get to hear what the Durban Mandate from COP17 will likely be. We want to have as many people as possible occupying Speakers Corner so that together we can reach and deliver our own conclusions. As well as our usual general assembly we will have a special assembly starting at 7pm and will be holding an all night candlelit vigil for climate justice.
We’ll see you under the trees!