2 call outs: oct 12th Global minga / climate justice action days

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Joined: 22-05-08
Oct 6 2010 10:57
2 call outs: oct 12th Global minga / climate justice action days

Take Action Oct. 12: Global Mobilization in Defense of Mother Earth and the Peoples
Oct 4th, 2010
Following the success of the first two Mingas (Global Mobilizations in Defense of Mother Earth and the Peoples), American indigenous and social movements and their allies around the world have called a third mobilization for October 12, 2010.
“We the peoples and our territories are one entity,” the 2009 declaration read. “[We resolve] to reject all forms of land division, privatization, concession, predation and pollution from extractive industries.”
Global climate activists have joined the call, declaring that day a Global Day of Climate Justice.
As we did last year, Root Force is supporting the Minga and encouraging people throughout the Americas and across the world to take actions targeting the infrastructure of global trade. Infrastructure expansion projects such as highways, mines, power plants, pipelines and telecommunications cables form the front lines of the assault on indigenous peoples and the Earth. They are the backbone of the system that is killing our planet and enslaving its people.
For more information about the call to action and why we think infrastructure projects are appropriate targets, see below.
For help planning and publicizing actions, contact Root Force: rootforce [at] riseup [dot] net. You can find direct action, strategy and messaging resources here.
Send action reports to rootforce [at] riseup [dot] net. If you can’t pull together a direct action, consider holding events that promote anti-infrastructure organizing and action.
About the Minga
From the declaration:
WE CONVENE the Third Minga/ Global Mobilization in Defense of Mother Earth and the Peoples, against the commercialization of life (food, water, biodiversity, natural resources), pollution and depredation (by mining, fossil fuels, hydroelectricity, timber, ranching, biofuels, GMOs), consumerism and the criminalization of social movements; and for the recognition of ecological debt and the formation of an International Tribunal of Climate Justice.
On October 12, in every corner of the planet, those of us who want to save life will lift our voices against the capitalist aggression expressed in the plunder and commercialization of life. Because we know that other worlds are not only urgently needed, they are, above all, possible. And we are building them.
• The continuation of life, peace, ecodefense, natural resources, and spirituality linked to life and Mother Nature; water for future generations; and collective rights.
• To sensitize society to the necessity of coexistence with nature, in harmony and equilibrium. No to the privatization of nature with carbon trading.
• To sound the alarm over the imminent danger of the environmental catastrophe that threatens the planet and to call out those responsible: global capitalism, multinational businesses and complicity states.
• To demonstrate that it is possible to implement this change from the proposal and practices of the people, in harmony and reciprocity with Mother Nature, with Good Living, Plurinational States, and a model of integration based on equality, reciprocity and complementarity.
• To denounce neoliberal capitalism and the complicit governments that criminalize social protest to impose the plunder and depredation of Mother Nature.
• To urge amnesty for all leaders of indigenous, social, and environmental activists prosecuted for defending the rights of the people and of Mother Nature.
• To open the debate over the crisis of capitalist civilization, with the proposal of the indigenous peoples for averting climate catastrophe.
• No to the persecution of migrants: no one is a migrant on their continent of Abya Yala [America]; if some went in another direction, they went following the natural resources that had been stolen.
Activities worldwide:
• Manifest the greatest diversity of indigenous organizations and social movements, presenting alternatives to stop global climate and environmental catastrophe.
• Memorial with concrete proposals to the Convention on Climate Change, Convention on Biological Diversity, UN, Interamerican Human Rights Commission and similar organizations on other continents.
• Mobilizations around the world (in urban and rural communities) for specific local and national demands and for common goals of the Global Minga.
• Demonstrations in front of local offices of the UN, transnational extractive industries (fossil fuels, mining, timber, water), biofuels and GMOs.
• Discussion forums and cultural and political seminars on the defense of Mother Earth and the people against the commercialization of life and against pollution and social criminalization.
• The implementation of Climate Justice Courts to ethically judge environmental crimes.
• Assemblies to articulate strategies for the World Climate Change Conference, COP 16 (Cancun, Mexico, November-December 2010).
Read the full declaration (in Spanish) here. Read about last year’s Minga here:
Take Action Oct 12-16: Global Mobilization in Defense of Mother Earth and the Peoples (Aug 19th, 2009)
UPDATED: Week of Action Continues (Oct 12th, 2009)
More from the Week of Action (Oct 15th, 2009)
A Few More Actions (Oct 19th, 2009)
Why Infrastructure?
There are three primary reasons to target infrastructure as a way to defend the Earth and support indigenous sovereignty.
1. Infrastructure projects devastate ecologies and communities, whether it’s the massive fish kills caused by dams and oil spills, the stripped land and poisoned air left by highways and mines, or the dislocation of poor, rural and indigenous peoples caused every time a new dam, road, mine or power plant moves in.
2. Infrastructure projects facilitate further exploitation above and beyond their immediate effects: a road brings loggers and missionaries; a power plant brings industry and sprawl.
3. Infrastructure forms the physical basis of the global economic system — a system that is killing our planet and cannot function without the continued dispossession of indigenous land and destruction of Earth-based cultures.
This civilization will not change its genocidal and ecocidal trajectory willingly, and the Earth cannot be saved by half-measures. The system must come down, and its reliance on infrastructure — especially the infrastructure of trade — is one of its greatest weaknesses.
Learn More
The Root Force Strategy (taking down the system by fighting infrastructure expansion)
Infrastructure and indigenous sovereignty
Infrastructure and the environment
Infrastructure and global warming
More infrastructure fact sheets
Take Action!
Join people around the world on October 12-16 to say NO to the commercialization of life and the criminalization of indigenous and social movements, and YES to a world based on respect for all life. Join Root Force in the struggle against the infrastructure of global trade, and help us demolish colonialism at its foundations.
For help planning and publicizing actions, contact Root Force: rootforce [at] riseup [dot] net. You can find direct action, strategy and messaging resources here.
Send action reports to rootforce [at] riseup [dot] net. If you can’t pull together a direct action, consider holding events that promote anti-infrastructure organizing and action.

System Change not Climate Change! Taking direct action for climate justice

In 2009, indigenous peoples throughout the world called for a global mobilisation ‘in defence of mother earth’ on October 12, reclaiming the day that used to be imposed as ‘Columbus Day’. Responding to this call, and the demand for a day of action for ‘system change, not climate change’ issued by the global movements gathered in Copenhagen last year, Climate Justice Action is proposing a day of direct action for climate justice on October 12, 2010.
Today, we know…
For years, many had hoped that governments, international summits, even the very industries and corporations that caused the problem in the first place, would do something, anything to stop climate change. In December 2009, at the 15th global climate summit in Copenhagen (COP15), that hope was revealed as an illusion: a comfortable way to delude ourselves into believing that ‘someone else’ could solve the problem for us. That ‘someone’ would make the crisis go away. That there was someone ‘in charge’.
Today, after the disaster of COP15, we are wiser. Today we know:
- That we cannot expect UN-negotiations to solve the climate crisis for us. Governments and corporations are unable (even if they were willing) to deliver equitable and effective action on the root causes of climate change.
- That the climate crisis isn’t a natural process, nor is it accidental. Rather, it’s the inevitable outcome of an economic system that is bound to pursue infinite economic growth at all costs.
- That only powerful climate justice movements can achieve the structural changes that are necessary, whether it is through ending our addiction to fossil fuels, replacing industrial agriculture with local systems of food sovereignty, halting systems based on endless growth and consumption, or addressing the historical responsibility of the global elites’ massive ecological debt to the global exploited.
Today we know that is up to all of us to collectively reclaim power over our daily lives. It is we who must start shutting down and moving beyond the engines of capitalism, the burning of fossil fuels, the conversion of all life into commodities, and the toxic imaginaries of consumerism. It is we who must create different ways of living, other ways of organising our societies.
Today we know that climate justice means taking action ourselves.
The 12th of October: then, and now
As the COP15 came crashing down, so did any remaining belief in the capacity of UN-negotiations to implement equitable or effective solutions. As they plan to stage their 16th summit in Cancun, Mexico, it is becoming clear already that the movements will need to put up a strong fight to stop any attempt to use the UN to profit from the crisis through privatising our forests and carving up our atmosphere. But real and just solutions to the climate crisis will come from elsewhere – we must create other strategies, find other ways out of the crisis.
In the ashes of the COP15, a meeting of global movements proposed organising a global day of action under the banner ‘System Change not Climate Change’. Climate Justice Action, the network responsible for organising some of the disobedient actions in Copenhagen, took up this suggestion by calling for a ‘global day of direct action for climate justice’. Rather than once again following the global summit circus around the world, being forced into nothing but a reaction to their failures, we decided to set our own rhythm and our own schedule for change.
On the 12th of October, 1492, Christopher Columbus first set foot on the landmass that we know today as the Americas, marking the beginning of centuries of colonialism. Thus began the globalisation of a system of domination of the Earth and its people in the eternal pursuit for growth, the subordination of life to the endless thirst for profit. Latin America’s liberation at the beginning of the 19th century put an end to direct rule by foreign crowns, but failed to put an end to the exploitation of the many for the benefit of a few. Instead, this system has become ever more pervasive, reaching to the bottom of the ocean, to the clouds above us, and to the farthest depths of our dreams. This is the system that is causing the climate crisis, and it has a name: capitalism.
This day has recently been reclaimed by movements of indigenous peoples – those who first felt the wrath, the violence, the destructive force of this project – as a day ‘in Defense of Mother Earth’. On May 31, 2009, the IV Continental Summit of Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala (the Americas) called for a Global Mobilization “In defence of Mother Earth and Her People and against the commercialization of life, pollution and the criminalization of indigenous and social movements”.
Today it is all of us, and the entire planet, who increasingly suffer the fate that some five centuries ago befell the indigenous of the Americas and their native lands. Then, it was the colonisers’ mad search for the profit obtained from precious metals that drove them to wipe out entire cultures; today, it is capital’s search for fossil fuels to drive its mad, never-ending expansion, that still wipes out entire cultures, and causes the climate crisis. Then, they were enslaved and often killed to provide labour to the infernal machines of Europe; now, we are all enslaved and exploited to provide labour to the infernal machines of capital. Then, it was a continent and its people that was driven to destruction; today, it is a world and its people that is being driven to destruction. Today, we are all the global exploited.
Of course, not all life submitted to the rule of capital in a single day. Capitalism is a complex web of social relations that took centuries to emerge and dominate almost the entire planet. Nor will we bring down the entire system, or build a new world, in a single day. This day is a symbol, and symbols matter. This day is the unveiling of the root causes of the climate crisis – capitalism. It is an affirmation that – wherever you live and whatever your struggle – we struggle against capital and for other worlds, together.
There’s only one crisis
But why focus on the fight for climate justice at a time when, all around the world, people are losing their jobs, governments are imposing austerity measures, all while the banks are once again posting their exorbitant profits? Doesn’t the ‘economic crisis’ trump the ‘climate crisis’? This perspective, however, looks at the world from above and outside of it. Seen from above, there is a ‘climate crisis’, caused by too much CO2 in the atmosphere, which is a threat to future stability and future profit margins; seen from above, there is an economic crisis, which is a threat to current stability and current profit margins; seen from above, there is an energy crisis, a food crisis, a water crisis… But from where we stand, there are no separate crises. There are only threats to our livelihoods, our reproduction – in short, our survival: it doesn’t matter whether it is a physical tsunami that destroys our houses, or a tsunami of destruction wrought by recession. Either way, we end up homeless.
The reason we can’t treat the apparently separate crises as separate? They are all symptoms of the same sickness. They are, all of them, the result of capital’s need for eternal growth, a cancerous growth that is fuelled by the ever-expanding exploitation of social and natural ‘resources’ – including fossil fuels. Crisis is, in fact, the standard mode of operation for this global system.
To struggle for climate justice, then, is to recognise that all these crises are linked; that the climate crisis is as much as social and economic crisis as it is an environmental disaster. To struggle for climate justice is at the same time struggling against the madness of capitalism, against austerity enforced from above, against their insistence on the need for continued ‘growth’ (green or otherwise). Climate justice isn’t about saving trees or polar bears – though we probably should do both. It is about empowering communities to take back power over their own lives. It is about leaving fossil fuels in the ground and creating socialised renewable energy systems; it is about food sovereignty against the domination of, and destruction caused, by industrial agribusiness; it is about massively reducing working hours, and starting to live different lives; it is about reducing overproduction for overconsumption by elites in the North and the South. Climate justice, in short, is the struggle for a good life for us all.
Global movements for climate justice
In April this year more than 30,000 people came together in Cochabamba, Bolivia, for the Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (CMPCC). Together we produced a ‘Peoples’ Agreement’ which offered a different way forward, a counterbalance to the failure of the neoliberal market driven ‘solutions’ peddled in the COPs. Despite its submission to the UN, it was completely ignored at the intersessional meeting of the UNFCCC in Bonn, Germany. 
The failure of the UNFCCC to respond to the Peoples Conference is of no surprise to us, and as was perhaps the intention of its submission, it has only further delegitimised the COP process. Perhaps most importantly, it has once again shown that it is only ‘the movement’ that can bring about real changes for climate justice. But what is this movement, and where are its edges? Movement is precisely that – movement. The movement is all those moments when we consciously push a different way of living into existence; when we operate according to our many other values rather than the single Value of capital. And now we are trying to make these moments resonate.
We invite all those who fight for social and ecological justice to organise direct actions targeting climate criminals and false solutions, or creating real alternatives. This means taking direct responsibility for making change happen, not lobbying others to act on your behalf, but through actively closing things down and opening things up. This is an open callout, we are not picking targets. But it is not a day for marches or petitions: it is time for us to reclaim our power, and take control of our lives and futures.


Joined: 22-05-08
Oct 24 2010 03:20


reports on the day of action