It’s been a while since I have been able to write and A LOT has happened! It’s been hard to blog while things are moving and changing so quickly around the negotiations. Frankly there have been alot of late nights and early mornings and just not enough coffee to go around! So I’m going to do my best to give a short recap of what has been going on here in Cancun while folks are rocking things back home.
Thursday December 2- SHUT DOWN THE TAR SANDS
An action was staged outside of the main building in the Moon Palace where official UN Negotiations are taking place. A human banner was deployed and Indigenous People from TarSands impacted communities from the United States and Canada highlighted the impacts of TarSands extraction and processing on communities.
Thursday December 2- RESPECT INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS
That’s right- we rocked two actions in one day. We must just be cool like that. This was an action from the Indigenous Peoples Caucus (Indigenous Peoples are recognized stakeholders in the UN process) to remind the UN to Respect Indigenous Peoples Rights. Indigenous Peoples from around the world came together under the same message, shared culture, songs, and their perspectives on the solutions that are being brought here to the UN by their peoples.
In general UN Security is paranoid about disruptions or protests in the UN space. It is clear that they are poised and instructed to minimize voices of dissent. This action pushed the paranoia button a bit when we closed the action with a friendship dance! As a result of this action the UN changed the rules around the permitting of actions!! Didn’t know realize that friendship dances were acts of resistance, but in the UN you never know!
Sunday December 5th: Marching with La Via Campesina. Welcome to Cancun
We marched with our comrades of La Via Campesina and Grassroots Global Justice in a “NO REDD’S” block. One strategy here in Cancun is to combat the pro-REDD agenda that is being pushed here as a solution to climate change by governments like the United States and Mexico, but also by some environmental NGO’s. So at every turn and opportunity we are talking about why REDD’s is a false solution.
Tuesday December 7th: LA VIA CAMPESINA CREATES THOUSANDS OF CANCUNS
We had the honor of being invited to participate with La Via Campesina in creating thousands of Cancuns right here in Cancun!! Thousands marched together on the streets of Cancun from all over the world. On the inside of UN negotiations a press conference, followed by a walk out was staged. It got a bit hairy! Check out the reports from Democracy Now! But, you can’t stop people power, and ultimately those who were ejected joined their friends in the streets for a peoples assembly, highlighting community solutions to climate change as we see them.
Wednesday December 8th
Today I feel like I have a bit of a hangover, maybe it is from inhaling paint fumes from the visuals we have been working on! Today, the United States held a side event at the UN on its strategy for the REDD’s program. We saturated the audience with climate justice activists from communities throughout the United States who at every opportunity raised questions about financing for such programs (which gets funneled to organizations and most communities never see a dime), Free Prior and Informed Consent from Indigenous communities, and transparency of US engagement in other countries and at home. This made the US representatives very nervous! As expected, they dodged all of our questions, but we aren’t going anywhere so, see you next time!!
I encourage you, if you haven’t already to visit www.redroadcancun.com. The IEN media team is doing daily live shows, posting videos and photos from actions and workshops happening and sharing the perspectives from our brothers and sisters in the South.
It’s not over yet!!! Talk soon!