Jan 22 2016

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!