28 November, 2009
And call to participate in Direct Action for Climate Justice at the fifteenth UN Climate Conference (COP-15)
When: Saturday the 5th, Sunday the 6th, and Friday the 11th of December 2009.
Where: Copenhagen Denmark.
For more info: email@example.com
On December 6th, 2009 the governments of the world will come to Copenhagen for the fifteenth UN Climate Conference (COP-15). This will be the biggest summit on climate change ever to have taken place. Yet, previous meetings have produced nothing more than business as usual.
You are invited to the next international meeting of Climate Justice Action in Copenhagen, Denmark just prior to the UN Climate Conference (COP-15). Climate Justice Action meetings will also be held during the week of the UN meetings (Dec 11 onwards) in order to share information about actions and coordinate plans for the upcoming year of climate justice.
The Climate Justice Action network has built links around the world and brought together plans for mass mobilization. With direct action we will reclaim the power of people and push for climate justice. We will make sure that the most affected and most struggling people are heard during the COP15 and we will work to stop the world leaders from promoting false solutions. We believe that the global movement for climate justice will kick off in Copenhagen in December, and we need to collectively visualize what our future will be when we put people before profit.
Our previous meetings have included a lot of political discussion, setting up various international working groups, developing common ground, and deciding our principles and strategic goals. During December our meetings will share information about actions and coordinate plans for the upcoming year of climate justice. These meetings will be held in a ‘spokes council’ format allowing a large number of people to participate in democratic information exchange and consensus decision making. While individuals are welcome we also encourage people to participate as part of an AFFINITY GROUP.
An AFFINITY GROUP is a working unit of people that organize and communicate well together (Note: terminology is not important. You don’t necessarily have to call yourselves an AFFINITY GROUP. If 6 people show up from the Birmingham Vegetarian Maoist Tuba Marching Club and they have their own way to make decisions, work well and communicate effectively but they call themselves a ‘band’, then that’s just as good as an AFFINITY GROUP). During a ‘spokes council’ each AFFINITY GROUP confers between themselves on proposals to the entire network but only one person, the ‘spoke’ or spokesperson for the affinity group, will communicate to the assembled groups. If you are not part of an affinity group, please feel welcomed to still be part of the meetings! We want everyone to participate. Precisely how the meeting process will work is open to debate, experimentation and discussion.
Our first common ground was the Call to Action, which can be found at http://www.climate-justice-action.org/mobilization/call-for-action/ and http://risingtide.org.uk/copenhagen/translations.
We invite anyone who agrees with our Call to Action, principles for working together, and strategic goals to participate in the next International Meeting of Climate Justice Action.
Our Strategic Goals are:
• To promote and strengthen the rights and voices of Indigenous and affected peoples (including workers) in confronting the climate crisis. To support reparations and the repayment of ecological debt to the Global South by industrialized rich countries.
• To build a global movement for climate justice that encourages urgent action to avoid catastrophic climate change.
• To highlight the critical role of biodiversity in weathering the climate crisis, and to defend the existence of all species.
• To expose the roles of false and market-based climate “solutions” as well as corporate domination of climate negotiations in worsening the climate crisis.
• To advance alternatives that can provide real and just solutions to the climate crisis.
• To both sharpen our understanding of, and to address, the root social, ecological, political and economic causes of the climate crisis toward a total systemic transformation of our society.
Our network is committed to working with respect, trust and unity towards these goals. We agreed that our principles for working together are:
We are stronger together. We will use our common platform to coordinate our efforts and work together whilst recognizing our diversity
We are an international movement and will practice solidarity.
The network is made up of groups with diverse opinions and tactics. We will respect this diversity
No members of the network will use the network to criticize or disassociate themselves from other members of the network.
The network will only make public statements that have been agreed by the network.
Members for the network will not use the actions of other members to further their own aims without previous agreement.
http://www.climate-justice-action.org/ Information and Resources for the Network
Low Volume Announcements email list
Announcements and Discussion email list
For planning mass actions or long term campaigns in large groups it has proven practical to work with a SPOKES COUNCIL method. Smaller groups (often called ‘affinity groups’) come together in a great circle. Each smaller group delegates a person to speak. During a spokes council each affinity group confers between themselves on proposals to the entire network but only one person, the ‘spoke’ or spokesperson for the affinity group, will communicate to the assembled groups. A spokes council may also require a prepared agenda, close timekeeping and some facilitators.
AFFINITY GROUPS are the basic planning and decision making units for mass actions or other forms of organizing that a spokes council is designed to facilitate. Form an affinity group with your friends, people from your town, neighborhood or workplace, from your organization or community, with people you share some other affinity, interest or identity with. Two or more affinity groups that have something in common, or want to do similar actions should work together as a CLUSTER of affinity groups.
The ‘classical’ model of a spokes council does not allow for decisions, which means that the spokes council serves to exchange information and opinions, and decisions are then being made in the affinity groups. In case of time pressure everyone decides together whether some questions should be discussed and decided in the spokes council.
Decision making is done by CONSENSUS meaning that a majority cannot impose a decision upon a minority. This method attempts to be inclusive and participatory. Each affinity group or cluster discusses proposals and decides whether to support, suggest modifications, or oppose a proposal. Only the spoke for the group or cluster will present the results of their discussion.