29 April, 2010 — The Bullet Socialist Project • E-Bulletin No. 347
On April 22, a mass international assembly in Cochabamba, Bolivia, adopted a charter for action to protect our planet from ecological devastation.
Following the failed climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December, where Barack Obama tried unsuccessfully to impose a toothless backroom deal, Bolivian President Evo Morales invited “the peoples of the world, social movements and Mother Earth’s defenders, … scientists, academics, lawyers and governments,” to attend a conference “to define strategies for action and mobilization to defend life from Climate Change and to defend Mother Earth’s Rights.”
That call struck a chord with activists around the world. Despite the volcanic ash that prevented many European delegations from attending, more than 30,000 people from over 100 countries took part in the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in the central Bolivian city of Cochabamba, April 19-22. The participants included more than 40 official government delegations and thousands of activists and representatives of social movements.
Particularly notable was the large number of Indigenous people from throughout South and North America, who played leading roles in defining the meeting’s environmental philosophy and drawing up a program for action. Morales urged the delegates to commit to learn and benefit from the wisdom of the world’s indigenous peoples. “The peoples of the Andes believe in the concept of ‘living well’ instead of wanting to ‘live better’ by consuming more regardless of the cost to our neighbors and our environment.”