San Antonio’s Southwest Workers Union Report Back from Copenhagen-The Challenge Young People are Facing

photo credit Diana Pei Wu

The UN Conference in Copenhagen  on Climate Change  (COP15) has been on fire. Lots of people from all over the world have found their way there with a keen sense that this would be the last opportunity to turn around the path of destruction we have carved out in terms of polluting the planet.  Sadly the United States is seen as the biggest problem. Although we make up a small percentage of the world’s population (300 million vs 6 billion) we are responsible for over 25% of the world’s pollution. Whereas most country’s have concluded there is a serious problem that needs our collective global attention to help reverse things, we still have high profile pundits and leaders like the dim witted former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin who are publicly saying there is no such thing as climate change…

Fortunately the state of Texas, has been well represented in the form of our allies from Southwest Workers Unionwho are down in San Antonio.  They been keeping a blog of their encounters which include videos and pictures, some of which we used in our Youtube interview w/ 21 year old Diana Lopez. She talked to us about the challenges people have been facing in Copenhagen in terms of being heard and solutions being respected. One would think that since its younger generations that will be the future caretakers of Earth, that more room at this table would be made so they could be better integrated in the discussion. Such has not been the case. We made room at our table to hear from Diana as she gave us a run down of whats going on in Copehagen.  

Here’s our two part conversation w/ her..

Below is an excerpt of the coverage SWU have been providing w/ their blog. We encourage everyone to check them out so you can get an on the ground, non corporate influenced perspective..

A sea of 100,000 folks from around the world demanding climate justice flooded the downtown streets of Copenhagen and marched 4 miles to the negotiations center. Led by the indigenous peoples delegation, the call was made for urgent action in emission reduction that is equitable and effective as the talks entered the sixth day.

SWU joined the ‘Systems Change Not Climate Change’ march bloc demanding an end to climate colonialism, calling for the protection of the most impacted communities and leading the charge for a new paradigm of climate solutions based on social justice and human rights. Along with social justice organizations from the US, the contingencies included grassroots organizations from the South, like Via Campesina. As the convention center prepares to shut out the majority of civil society participants next week as high-level ministers arrive, this march served to elevate the call that world leaders need to listen the global movement, to folks locked out from a seat at the table negotiating our future.

Dressed in several layers and covered with hats, gloves and scarves under the chilly blue skies, energy was high as we took the streets starting at the Danish national palace and moved over numerous canals and through the city center. One human-powered float showed the Presidents of industrialized countries as mere puppets of corporate interests, advocating for more oil and coal – the antithesis of what is needed to protect community health as well as the planet. Samba bands brought music to the street within a sea of color, banners and flags from all part of the world.

contine reading at….

Here is a video

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