First Alternatiba Todmorden is a Big Success

A great day in Todmorden, West Yorkshire at the first festival of climate alternatives, 500 people, 50 organisations and businesses promoting solutions to climate change, 20 talks and workshops about tackling climate change, 20 volunteer stewards, 9 venues in the town centre, two conferences (one videoconference), samba and drums around the town, a street party on Water Street, the music went on until late in different venues.

Thanks to Janet.




Incredible Conference with Big Names from Incredible Edible Todmorden.


Thanks to Joe.






11193364_633125863455459_6758533407288141954_nPoetic Alternatiba Todmorden at Fundevogel Cafe.


Thanks to Rob.







Hanna-LouiseHealdVolunteerStewardStalls and gazebos on Pollination Street.


Thanks to chief steward, Hannah-Louise.







Anthony RaesWorkshopOnParis negotiations on international emissions limits

Climate Coalition meeting about the upcoming climate summit in Paris.


Thanks to Finn.







Local, low-carbon and vegan cafe in the Town Hall.


Thanks to Hilary and her team of volunteers.







LowCarbonEnergyForDevelopmentNetworkStallA(1)WWOOF, Low Carbon Energy Research, the Himalayas and a mini wind turbine.


Thanks to Ben.







Photos thanks to Dave Croft and Oxana.





Speak Up Peace Justice for Nature

CVe9-gzUwAEtDkEWe are not Nature. We use Nature as a lavatory. We speak not up nature with nature and with thee. We hide. We follow not. We assemble. We open not. We exchange. We share not a drop of coffee. We mend. We maintain. We adapt. We perfect. We share not a scrap of meat. We plan. We share not a piece of bread. We institute. We soup not. We acknowledge plant and animal rights. We recognise our slavery to the power system. We rebel. We protest. We defeat not. We chant Nature chants. We dance barefoot warrior dances and French kiss in the rain in the streets.


I was one of 200 activists from Europe who transformed a gymnasium into the Alternatiba Hood Quarters in Île-Saint-Denis. Île-Saint-Denis is a precinct in inner city Paris with a communist council and troublemakers of all backgrounds have transformed the space generously offered by the communist led Town Hall in its HQ during the two weeks of the UN climate summit COP21.


Alternatiba has organised dozens of Villages of Alternatives and has organising down to a T. The troublemakers of the Hood Quarters self-organise – each troublemaker brings what she can to cooking, collection and recuperation of food, sleeping quarters, workshops, repair and fabrication, computing and media spaces, meetings, maintaining and cleaning the building, compostable toilets, shared bikes and security. Nina, a waitress from Paris is here to add her energy to the action on Climate Justice. “I want Climate Justice because we have an economic, social and climate emergency” she said.


Guy who is a member of les Faucheurs, a group that mows down fields of GMO crops, has been fighting nuclear energy for 45 years. Also a member of les Colibris, he does his part to improve the world by using solar panels for the van that he lives in. “I like the energy and the atmosphere here, I’m part of the Hood Quarters of Alternatiba because only a movement which reaches hundreds of thousands of people can bring about Climate Justice he told me.”


The Global Village of Alternatives this weekend had 28 000 people, 277 organisations from across the planet bringing conferences, workshops and stalls and dozens of artistic and theatrical messages on Climate Justice. Occupying the streets, squares and buildings of Montreuil another precinct in Paris, 9 000 meals were served in the big tent of Alternatiba alone. Chanting whose chairs? Our chairs! thousands attended the Summit of 196 Chairs nonviolent action, defying banks by sitting on 196 chairs that were hijacked from tax evading banks and holding a conference to protest tax loopholes for the banking sector which could be used to fund climate change mitigation and adaptation ; and take us one step closer to Climate Justice.


One nonviolent action organised during COP21 was the occupation of a bank with a militant ecologist, Jose Bove and militant band HK et les Saltimbanks to protest against investments by the bank, BNP Paribas, in fossil fuels.


The Paris accord that came out of COP21 was an historic achievement. We must build a better world while tackling climate change and we need many more historic achievements. Many more nonviolent actions. Many more villages of alternatives. Many more scientist leaders to speak up Peace Justice for Nature!

Alternatiba Todmorden 2015

Corrected Press Release – Alternatiba Todmorden

For immediate release


Well over 500 people of all ages were out in Todmorden, West Yorkshire on Sunday 3rd May, for a festival of climate alternatives with dozens of events and activities about climate change.

People from across Yorkshire and the North West came to the town centre for a day of live music, craft and stalls, with conferences, talks and workshops about climate change in the Town Hall.


The People’s Budget Stand at Alternatiba Todmorden (Photo Dave Croft)

Fundevogel was packed for a very special event with many high quality poems being read and performed on climate change and wider environmental themes. The words “smouldering in the wake of a phoenix” were used by Gaia Holmes in one of her poems to powerfully describe climate change. “We will explore the possibility of getting a collection published” said event organiser Robert Baylis.

Todmorden campaigner Joseph Mobbs was among the 12,000-strong crowd at the original village of alternatives in Bayonne. He joined forces with a gardener and a former teacher, a chartered environmentalist, a former immigration law specialist, a young mother-of-two and a goat-keeping anthropologist to organise one back at home in the UK.

There was a vegertarian and vegan cafe with low carbon food in the Town Hall and the organisers would like to say a huge thank you to SUMA for sponsoring the food, to Calderdale MBC and Todmorden town council for funds and assistance, to Unlimited and Santander who supported the idea from the beginning with a Spark award, to Gordon Riggs for donating compost and bits for childrens activities, to all the volunteer stewards and to all the organisations, businesses and individuals who came to present and discuss solutions to climate change.

The festival brought together and was a forum for campaigners and changemakers under the same umbrella of working on environmental justice and empowering ordinary people to act. Joe said “we can not leave it to political leaders to rescue the international agreement on emissions limits in December. Climate change is the biggest challenge we have faced since World War II, we need to build grassroots solidarity and international networks now if we want limits on greenhouse gas emissions to be writen into international law in Paris.

Inspired to action by demonstrations, stalls and talks from groups and organisations already tackling climate change, festival goers signed pledges to reduce their carbon footprint by making small changes to their personal lifestyle, organiser Janet Rogers said “We lucky people in wealthy countries should want less and buy less, just because we can afford it doesnt mean we should, we should do what little we can.”

The “Incredible Conference” with founding members and leaders of the Incredible Edible movement which plants edible crops in urban spaces and was born in Todmorden filled the council chamber. Who needs 5-a-day when you can have edible landscapes,” said Incredible Edible founder, Pam Warhurst.

Whether or not a binding legal agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions is made in Paris, encouraging and bringing together those working on climate change in their own homes, streets and communities is important” said Joe. Alternatiba Todmorden included speeches, debates, information stalls, live bands and a café selling local, sustainable and fair-trade vegan food as well as a polar bear and a street party with world music DJs. The music went on into the night in venues around Todmorden.


Photo credit: Dave Croft Photography. For further information, for high resolution photos and to arrange interviews with the organisers, please contact: Joe Mobbs – (not for publication, please). Images of other Alternatiba events are available from the media section of

Download the programme for Alternatiba Todmorden 2015

Here is the programme for Alternatiba Todmorden 2015 on one page



Alternatiba Tod 2015: Latest News


The festival of climate alternatives is nearly here.

Alternatiba Todmorden Newsletter 4

Festival of climate alternatives has wind in its sails

In the Town Hall you will be spoilt for choice: Paulo Marini will talk about open farm technologies, Geoff Tansey will talk about our desire to eat “what we want, when we want, from wherever we want”, Dan Graham will talk about stockfree growing, Laura Blake will talk about the impacts of food on our health and the environment and with all this talk about food and the environment there will also be a local, sustainable, low-carbon cafe in the Town Hall from 12 midday until 3pm.

From the afternoon and into the night there will be music and poetry in venues around Todmorden, there will be stalls on the market all day, a street party on Water Street.  On Pollination Street, StrawWorks will demonstrate strawbale building and Incredible Edible will do a seed and plant swap, there will also be a puppet show and a polar bear.

Alternatiba Todmorden is trying to raise £500, we have only got 5 days left but we have match funding and the more we raise the more we can put on, to give you an idea of what we will do with the money, if we raise:

  • £100 we can get Honley Samba Band to come and play and we can get Laura Blake and Philip James up from the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales
  • £250 Honley Samba and Tod Brass Band can play, Laura and Philip can come and we can feed all the volunteers and speakers
  • £600 all of the above and we can have Mr Wilson’s Second Liners and decorate the town in bunting made from recycled fabric
  • £1000 all of the above and we can have Handmade Parade bring their flags and fantastical bikes

If you are over 18, we need your help as a steward please.  This will involve helping festival goers to have a great time and be safe. You will be needed between 9am and 6 pm and will be rewarded with a free lunch prepared by Hilary in the town hall. To volunteer, please contact info@altertod.euWe also need green or white t-shirts for stewards, if you have one or two going spare why not drop them into Cheeky Sew and Sew, 3 Wise Monkeys or the Golden Lion?
A congested commute by car can cause three times the emissions as the same drive on a clear road. Mike Berners-Lee the author of How Bad are Bananas suggests leaving the car at home: “The best way to come to the festival is to walk or cycle, if you can. If you have to come in a car, lift sharing is better for the environment, more sociable and cheaper”.
Alternatiba Todmorden will be opened at 11am on 3rd May by the mayor. For a full programme with times and a map of locations see
Copyright © 2015 Alternatiba Todmorden, All rights reserved.


Programme of Events

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Alternatiba Todmorden: Festival of Climate Alternatives

Alternatiba Todmorden is a festival of climate alternatives on Sunday 3rd May from 11am until late in Todmorden venues including the Town Hall and Pollination Street.

It will be a fun event for all the family that will show practical ways for everyone to fight climate change. In the town hall there will be an Incredible Conference, speeches, debates, information stalls and a cafe with local sustainable and fairtrade vegan food.

On Pollination St there will be stalls, a polar bear and a puppet show. In pubs and cafes there will be live bands, folk music, poetry and world music DJs.

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It’s Not Just About the Environment

Alternatiba is also about community, economics and social justice. We believe that overcoming climate change goes hand in hand with building a better world – a world that is socially, economically and environmentally fair and sustainable. The organisers of the original Alternatiba in Bayonne put it this way: “Together, let’s build a better world by tackling the climate crisis.”


In this post on the Incredible Edible Todmorden blog, I encourage people to do something “insane” and join us, if you’re still hesitating to get involved, send me an email

3rd May 2015 and Incredible Seeds of Hope

We’ve had three meetings for Alternatiba Todmorden now and between 5 and 12 people came to the last two, both of the last two meetings were very constructive and we have fixed Sunday 3rd May 2015 as the date of Alternatiba Todmorden. We’ll be having another meeting on Sunday 14th December from 5-6pm and it’ll be the last meeting before 2015.

I’ve written a blog post on the Incredible Edible Todmorden page which talks about Alternatiba you can read it here:

We had a constructive day with a stall at Todmorden Kids Fest and many of our planet’s young stewards of tomorrow drew posters and coloured pictures about climate change.

Colouring and Drawing Climate Change

Young Stewards of the Planet

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