Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bringing Cochabamba to Cancun: Climate Justice Activists

Bringing Cochabamba to Cancun: Statement from Climate Justice Activists
Top photo copyright Ben Powless, Mohawk: Manny Pino, Acoma Pueblo and Ofelia Rivas, O'odham, cochair the Indigenous Peoples Working Group in Cochabamba, Bolivia in April.
Photo 2 copyright Michelle Cook, Navajo: Manny Pino, Tom Goldooth, IEN executive director, and Ofelia Rivas in Cochabamba.

By Judy Rebick, Rabble.ca, 10/19/10 – The global battle on climate change is heating up in the build up to Cancun including here in Canada. The statement below was written by a group of activists who met with Bolivian President Evo Morales at the end of September in New York City.

Statement from Climate Justice Activists

We the undersigned representatives of Social Movements and NGO’s, meeting at a side event with President Morales of Bolivia during the Millennium Development Goals Summit, New York City, September 23, 2010,

Affirm the need for urgent action in the lead-up to the Cancun climate negotiations, Nov. 27 to Dec. 10, both in Mexico and internationally,
We believe these negotiations are a pivotal moment for demanding action in advancing climate justice.

This past summer has seen severe wildfires in Russia, devastating floods in Pakistan, mudslides in China, droughts in the Sahel and Niger, and an 87-square-kilometre chunk of ice break off from Greenland — all consistent with the impacts of which climate scientists have long been warning.

With the future of humanity and the balance of Mother Earth at stake, we have a collective responsibility to hold our governments accountable, especially those in the global North which has disproportionately contributed to the crisis we face, to commit to urgent and meaningful action.

The Cancun negotiations are also crucial because key proposals from the Cochabamba People’s Agreement are included in the negotiating text. The proposals, the “Cochabamba Accord”, must be acted upon if humanity is to avert catastrophic and runaway climate change, and make the urgent transition to a low-carbon society in an equitable and fair manner.

The democratic, bottom-up process from which these proposals emerged at the World’s People Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights (April 2010) — a significant coming together of indigenous peoples, social movements and NGOs — deserves our support.

With these points in mind, we:

– Support Mexican civil-society in demanding the government of Mexico provide open space, without interference, for civil-society events and discussion.

– Welcome the diversity of events being planned by our comrades in Mexico including caravans, a November 30 demonstration in Mexico City, a trial people’s tribunal on climate justice, alternative spaces for workshops and events, and much more. We support a coordinated strategy to ensure effective mobilization to demand climate justice and express our support for the Cochabamba conference process and proposals.

– Encourage everyone who recognizes the need for system change, not climate change, and is compelled and uplifted by the spirit of the Cochabamba People’s Conference and proposals to express this by joining together and mobilizing in communities across the world before, during, and after the Cancun negotiations. The advancement of climate justice depends on the collective voices and actions of people across the world.

– Specifically, we urge support for coordinated events in the lead-up to Cancun, including the 10/10/10 Global Work party, the Oct. 12 Global Day of Action for Climate Justice, Oct. 12 Global Mobilization for Defense of Mother Earth and Indigenous Peoples and the organizing of People’s Assemblies on Climate Justice.

During the UN negotiations, we join the call originating from Via Campesina for ‘thousands of Cancuns’ on the Dec. 7 global day of action, with the organizing of events and actions in communities worldwide to add strength and visibility to the mobilizations that will be taking place in Mexico; and all other mobilizations supporting the principles of Climate Justice

– Continue, beyond Cancun and through 2011, to popularize the climate justice demands formulated at the Cochambamba’s People’s Summit, including through organizing work towards the proposed global referendum on climate change; and, finally, to encourage broad participation in the second World People’s Summit on Climate Change, slated to be convened in 2011.


Council of Canadians
Indigenous Environmental Network
Nord-Sud XXI
Grassroots International
Toronto Bolivia Solidarity
Blue Planet Project
May First/People Link
Global Justice Ecology Project
Loretto Community
Alaska Inter-Tribal Council
National Family Farm Coalition, Member of Via Campesina North America
Derrick O’Keefe
Michael Dorsey
Roger Langen

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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008: www.earthcycles.net/
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