Political Platform of Klimaforum 10

Tord Björk | Uncategorized | Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

México D. F., July 9, 2010

After several meetings, we have adopted the following Political Platform of KlimaForum10:

1. THERE IS A CLIMATE CATASTROPHE, NOT CLIMATE CHANGE

The weather patterns of the world are undergoing a rapid and disturbing disruption, which is increasing in both force and catastrophic impact. This change could end up being life-threatening for many human communities in coming years, for the large majority of people in this century.   Describing this process as “climate change”, amounts to distorting reality.

2. THERE IS NO TECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CATASTROPHE

There will be no technological solution to climate disaster as long as certain economic values continue to predominate in the world, including mercantilism, utilitarianism, “development-ism,” and militarism. In this framework, “productivity,” competition, and manipulation reign supreme. As long as the system which generates these values (and therefore also shapes the dominant social imagination) remains in force, there will be no real solution. Neither nuclear energy, nor geoengineering, nanotechnology, GMOs, or biofuels (among other technologies) will offer us real solutions to the climatic disaster; they are false solutions. The only appropriate solutions to this predicament will come from a world-wide expansion of solidarity, cooperation, and friendship, valuing the pleasure of free time and playfulness, social life, autonomy, wisdom, the techniques and beauty produced by craftsmen and artists, practical and adaptive approaches, approaches based on relationships and co-existence, a spiritual approach, and mainly, respect for the sacredness of mountains, rivers, the seas, forests, the forests, the animals: Mother Earth, whose gifts have no price. This change in values must be systematic – meaning, we must change the system, not the climate – beginning with a different personal ethics, like voluntary simplicity. We must learn to live better with fewer objects, and to act in defense of the global common.

3. THERE IS NO GOVERNMENT SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CATASTROPHE

Because of its violent nature and concentration of power, which removes it from local and cultural diversity, and because of its pyramidal, authoritarian character, governments are incapable of providing authentic solutions to climate catastrophe; they are capable only of false solutions.  False solutions are costing us precious time as we face this threat, experiencing greater calamities such as long heat waves, stronger hurricanes, droughts, forest fires, a drop in global food production, the rise and spread of diseases, the melting of glaciers, ocean acidification and sea-level rise, changes in ocean currents, the death of coral reefs, and species extinction, among others.  State-sponsored false solutions include “market-based” solutions (such as carbon markets), offsets, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), REDD, and perverse finance schemes. Only a great diversity of small-scale, locally-appropriate solutions, involving a great social mobilization, can mitigate the catastrophic effects of this modern disaster.

4. RADICAL REDUCTION IN CONSUMPTION AND INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION BY THE POWERFUL IS REQUIRED

In order to face the climatic disaster, we must urgently reduce consumption in the powerful countries, especially the United States, England, Germany, France, Italy and Japan, due to their historical responsibility in the generation of the climatic disaster. Further, we must reduce consumption by the rising middle-classes of the emerging economies, including China, India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, Mexico and South Africa. As soon as possible, the present “American way of life,” which has grown into a cancer on the world, and which is the main cause of this catastrophe, must disappear. In particular, it is indispensable to vastly reduce the consumption of bottled water, red meat, paper, and mobile phones, among other things. Of course, this means vastly and rapidly reducing the global industrial over-production which gives rise to this untenable wastefulness. Centrally, industrial agriculture and factory farming must be rapidly abandoned in favor of a return to local, small-scale food production.

5. WE MUST LEAVE OIL, GAS, COAL AND OTHER GIFTS OF NATURE UNDERGROUD

The consumption of fossil fuels is not only the main cause of climatic disaster. Their extraction also generates enormous ecological damage; Peak Oil (which is already creating world-wide tensions and causing great misery) forces industry to riskier extractions every day, creating spills like the Gulf of Mexico gusher, and disasters like those in Maracaibo, Nigeria, and the Alberta tar sands. Mining, whose environmental damage is excessive, is in the same category. Without a rapid and radical reduction of energy consumption in the United States, the European Union, Japan, China, and India, it will not be possible to achieve real solutions to the climatic disaster which is causing the destruction of the modern world. It is urgent to establish severe restrictions to the use of the automobile, airplanes and high speed trains; to discourage “free markets;” to eliminate privatization; and to prohibit mega-projects. We must re-conceptualize and reconstruct governments with the purpose of substantially increasing civic collaboration, relocalize both production and consumption, and intensively reuse materials. It is essential to abandon the era of oil now, to move beyond the economy of “growth without limit” and to enter a stable era of low energy consumption and shared frugality.

6. WE MUST DE-NUCLEARIZE THE WORLD

Nuclear energy is a fundamental pillar of the dominant system – an unjust system responsible for creating climatic disaster, growing global injustice, and the predominance of values that reign today. We live under the tyranny of nuclear-armed states which initiate the wars and extreme violence that destroys modern societies. These states impose dominant modes of consumption and production, which foment the construction and operation of very dangerous nuclear plants in support of nuclear weapons, and which are leading to the world towards its rapid destruction. In order to face the climatic disaster, it is essential that the United States, Russia, France, England, China, Israel, India, and Pakistan eliminate their nuclear weapons. In addition, all the existing nuclear plants in the world must be dismantled, because their risks are excessive and their waste products leave an unacceptable burden to future generations. Only social awareness of the nature of nuclear energy and the continuous opposition of movements along with independent organizations can curb this insane activity by ministers, industrialists and the scientists loyal to them. There is no nuclear solution to climate change.

7. WE SUPPORT THE BLOSSOMING OF SMALL SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATIC CATASROPHE WHICH:

A. Give top priority to very low energy consumption.
B. Contain high percentages of reused materials and support traditional production methods and craftsmanship.
C. Guarantee food, clothing, housing, education, happiness and the spiritual needs of the most vulnerable.
D. Strengthen the local and regional communities where they take place.
E. Remain critical of industry and modern-day consumption.

MEXICAN PROMOTION COMMITTEE FOR KLIMAFORUM 2010:

Adriana Matalonga; Eugenio Cabrera; Gabriela de la Vega; Jorge López; Mauricio Villegas; Miguel Valencia; Miguel Ángel Rosas; Raquel Rodríguez.

Web page:  www.klimaforum10.org.mx

ORGANIZATIONAL ENDORSERS OF THIS PLATFORM

Autoridad Tradicional Otomí de San Cristobal Huichochitlan, Estado de México

CAMBIOS, (Cooperative for a Biodiverse and Sustainable Environment or “Cooperativa por un Ambiente Biodiverso y Sustentable”)

Culture Change, ecologist magazine from Arcata, California, USA

Ecoactivists from the Civil Association of the community of Magdalena Mixhuca (“Ecoactivistas de la Magdalena Mixhuca AC”)

ECOMUNITIES Autonomous Ecologists Network from the region “Cuenca de Mexico” in the Mexican Basin (“ECOMUNIDADES, Red Ecologista Autónoma de la Cuenca de México”)

EDENAT (Network In Defense of Mother Nature) (“EDENAT, Red en Defensa de la Naturaleza”

Reduction or Cruelty! Network for the Reduction (“¡DESCRECIMIENTO O BARBARIE! Red por el descrecimiento”)

Front of the Peoples of Anáhuac (“Frente de los Pueblos de Anáhuac”)

Front of the Left (“Frente Izquierda”)

Front for Human Rights, Baja California (“Frente de Derechos Humanos, Baja California”)

Civil Society for Environmental Action Network (“Red Acción Ambiente SC”)

Theater Popular Association PC- CLETA

Timbers of the People of the Southeast, Civil Association (“Maderas del Pueblo del Sureste, AC)

Network for the Defense of the City of Mexico (“Red en Defensa de la Ciudad de México”)

Organización Tecelihqui A.C. promotora de turismo alternativo en Teotihuacan

Civil Association For a Change with Dignity (“Por el Cambio con Dignidad AC”)

Pitahaya Growers’ Society, community of Chan Tza Can, Kinchil, Yucatán (“Sociedad de Productores de Pithaya Chan Tza Can de Kinchil”)

Civil Association of the Tecolote Theater Workshop (“Teatro Taller Tecolote, AC”)

INDIVIDUAL ENDORSERS OF THIS PLATFORM

Aina Barag, tree guardian, Herradura, State of México

Alejandro García Núñez, Social Change Movement

Alejandro Aceves Jiménez, environment consultant and adviser

Alejandro Velarde, eco-techician

Alfredo Rojas Díaz Duran, Social Change Movement

Antonio Vital, Aliance for Health and Public Workers

Antonio Figueroa, Proyect Alternative of the Nation

Araceli Flores, The Other Campaign

Carlos Zaragoza Cibrián, Rayo Zaragoza

Carmen Ventura Quintal, of EIS 2012, Yucatán

Cristobal Flores Hernández, Autoridad Tradicional Otomí de San Cristobal Huichochitlan, Estado de México

Denise Alamillo, campaign Vote Nullification

Dr. Álvaro de la Chica, coordinator for the Civic Alliance, Ensenada, BC

Dr. Luis Tamayo, coordinator, Research Group in Ecosofia UEF/CIDHEM

Dr. José Ignacio Félix Díaz, Autonomous Metropolitan University, Cuajimalpa

Dr. Rafael Huacuz, College of Mexico

Dulce Karina Fierros Barquera, the De-Growth Department, Political and Social Sciences, UNAM

Edith González, the Civil Association Echoes, Voices and Actions

Edgardo Mota, Political Ecology Workshop, UAM, Xochimilco

Eduardo Rincón Mejía, Energy Program, UACM

Enrique Cisneros, del grupo de teatro popular PC-CLETA

Eugenio del Valle, coordinator of enviromental issues, CROC

Fernando Vallejo, escritor, novelista

Flor de Mayo Rouko, EIS2012, Yucatán

Gabriel Eduardo Gallegos Labastida, De-Growth Group, Department of Political and Social Sciences UNAM

Gerardo Martínez of the Left Front

Gerardo Montes de Oca Sierra, of the Civil Society for the Environmental Action Network

Guillermo Samaniego Martínez, Faculty Higher Studies, Iztacala, UNAM

Gustavo Romero from the Civil Association Fomentosol

Hugo David Uriarte Bonilla, Social Transformation Movement

Iván Azuara Montes, UCCS (Union of Scientists Committed to Society or Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad)

Jan Lundbergh, from Culture Change magazine, Arcata, California, USA

Jesús Solís Alpuche, Pitahaya Growers’ Society, community of Chan Tza Can, Kinchil, Yucatán

José Enrique González Ruíz, coordinator for the graduates in Human Rights at UACM

José Enrique Tec Poot del EIS2012, Yucatán

José Ignacio Gutiérrez de Velazco, Cooperative Self-Management Program UACM

José Luís Hernández Jiménez, Civil Association For a Change with Dignity

Juan A. Negrete Guzman, Autoridad Tradicional Otomí de San Cristobal Huichochitlan, Estado de México

Juan Izquierdo Robles, Autoridad Tradicional Otomí de San Cristobal Huichochitlan, Estado de México

Liliana Zavala Nieto of the Alternative Proyect of the Nation

Lucy Torres of the Klimaforum10 initiative, Puebla

Luisa Ortiz Garduza, Social Transformation Movement

Luis Cisneros Lujan, general director of the Civil Association Theater Workshop Tecolote

Luis Gabriel Urquieta, Political Science, UNAM

Lucrecia Noemí, environmental trainer

Marco Antonio Tafolla Soriano of the Xoxocotla Movement, Morelos

María Gonzalez Rodriguez, Autoridad Tradicional Otomí de San Cristobal Huichochitlan, Estado de México

Marisol Valverde Yáñez, Social Transformation Movement

Miguel Ángel García of the Civil Association Timbers of the People of the Southeast

Oscar Montaño of the Front for Human Rights, Baja California

Oralia Silvia Rocha de la  Organización Mundial Ambientalista Educativa AC

Pedro Echeverría, columnist, México

Pedro Pliego from the Civil Society Enviromental Action Network

René Molteni, Social Transformation Movement

Ricardo Guzmán, Political Ecology Workshop, Metropolitan Autonomous University, Xochimilco

Sebastian Silva, neighborhood activist from colonia Condesa

Sergio Benjamín Carbajal Rejón, lucha por la tenencia de la tierra en el ejido HERMANOS FLORES MAGON del municipio de Othon P. Blanco, Quintana Roo

Silverio de la Mora, from the civic Movement in defense of the Parque Central Benito Juárez en Tijuana, Baja California

Víctor Ariel Bárcenas Delgado, environmental issues

Russian environmental organizations united: for the forest against the repression

Tord Björk | Uncategorized | Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

On the eve of the international action day for freedom for Gaskarov and Solopov 17-20th of September all main Russian environmental organizations have issued a call together for the protection of the forest near Moscow including the Khimki forest as well as making a protest against the repression. The organizations acting in unison are the Movement for Defending the Khimki forest, Greenpeace Russia, WWF Russia, Biodiversity Conservation Center, Russian Bird Conservation Union, and Socio-Ecological Union.



Their call is focused on saving the forests but is also using strong wordings in protests against the repression of all defenders of the forest:

”if the trail through the Khimki forest will be built, it is actually legitimizing the harassment of citizens protesting, attempted murder, criminal structures in the punitive system and provocations in order to protect the interests of economic and financial structures that implement large-scale commercial projects. The decision on laying tracks through the Khimki forest is a huge step in the direction of the rule of law in a criminal totalitarian regime that denies basic rights of citizens of Russia.”

The environmentalists also makes it clear that the struggle to protect the Khimki forest is far from won and that it is linked to stopping repression:

“We welcome the order of the President of Russia to suspend construction of trails through the Khimki forest and conduct further discussions on the draft “- said Alexey Yaroshenko, head of the forestry department of Greenpeace Russia. “However, we fear that this order is directed only to reassure public opinion. The reality is that unreasonable detention and intimidation of defenders of the forests continues, the designers refuse to even discuss alternatives, and the work in the forest is not completely stopped.”

The environmental organizations also claim that the Khimki forest conflict has a very strong importance for the future of environmental protection in Russia.  In spite of that the scale of the planned construction in the Khimki forest is modest, sees similarities with the historical environmental victorious struggle against the diversion of the northern runoff of rivers in the southern regions of the USSR  in the 80s. They claim that in spite of the small scale for ”the future of our nature conservation the protection of the Khimki forest is no less important than the abandonment of the rotation of the rivers. Construction of trails through the Khimki forest – is not only the destruction of one of the most valuable forests in the forest-park zone of Moscow, but also an important precedent, the key to the destruction of the remaining parks.”

This shows the importance given by all main environmental organizations in Russia to the Khimki battle. This means that it is also of global importance as the environmental movement in Russia and all supporting the call to protect nature as the antifascists have done several times are the main force behind protecting the ecosystem in one of the largest countries on earth. Their struggle is our struggle. Or as the succesful concert and manifestation in Moscow that caused the temporary halt to the construction of the high way through the forest was called: ”Khimki forest is everywhere”.  Join the calls for protecting the Khimki forest and the coming international action days 17-20th of September for Freedom for Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov and other antifascists.

Tord Björk

Member of the Climate working group, Friends of the Earth Sweden

Below you find links to websites and articles about the conflict and the callout for international action to support Russian activists, and in the end the press release about the founding of the Coalition ”For the forest near Moscow”.

The call for international solidarity actions in many languages at the campaign website: www.khimkibattle.org

A callout to the global justice and environmental movements to support the international day of action at: http://www.aktivism.info/socialforumjourney/?p=1919

A callout to the global social forum movement at: http://www.aktivism.info/socialforumjourney/?p=1925

Continiously updated information at two facebook groups/sites:
Freedom for Russian antifascists Alexei Gaskarov & Maxim Solopov!:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zasita-Himkinskogo-lesa-Defence-of-the-Khimki-Forest/152500571430115#!/group.php?gid=123233894390151&ref=ts
Defence of the Khimki Forest:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zasita-Himkinskogo-lesa-Defence-of-the-Khimki-Forest/152500571430115

A longer article with links on the subject: ”Why we need solidarity with Russian environmentalists and antifascists” at http://www.aktivism.info/socialforumjourney/?p=1748

Nowadays you can also find a lot ofm material from Russian websites without knowledge in Russian. This woith the help of Googe translate. With some basic knowledge about the issue it is fully possible to follow much of the information and discussion in Russian. Of clourse the trnslation is rudimentary and sometimes not pöossilble to understand but quite a lot fully uiseful. The transöation pof the press release below is made with the help of this method, there might be some mistakles in it. The original version you find at Ecodefence web site www.ecmo.ru


Coalition ”For the forest near Moscow” established

The threat of destruction Khimki forests and forest-park zone in the whole of Moscow rallied the Russian environmental movement. As of today, Russia’s largest non-governmental environmental organizations and associations – the Movement for Defense Khimki forests, Greenpeace Russia, WWF Russia Biodiversity Conservation Center, Russian Bird Conservation Union, Socio-Ecological Union – will act in an unified coalition “For the forest near Moscow.

This is not the first time that the government’s actions that can cause irreparable damage to the nature of our country, inspire a rise in public environmental management, and ultimately lead to the consolidation and strengthening of the environmental community. For example, the diversion of the northern runoff of rivers in the southern regions of the USSR brought in the 80s of the last century, an unprecedented rise in public environmental movement, whose results are still being felt today.

The scale of planned construction in the Khimki forest is much more modest than the once planned diversion of the runoff of northern rivers. But for the future of our nature conservation Khimki forests is no less important than the abandonment of the rotation of the rivers. Construction of trails through the Khimki forest – is not only the destruction of one of the most valuable forests in the forest-park zone of Moscow, but also an important precedent, the key to the destruction of the remaining parks. Selecting a route through the Khimki forest means that the constitutional right of citizens to a healthy environment, which is an essential function of the suburban parks, is denied, at least in comparison with the interests of owners and tenants of other plots. Furthermore – if the trail through the Khimki forest will be built, it is actually legitimizing the harassment of citizens protesting, attempted murder, criminal structures in the punitive system and provocations in order to protect the interests of economic and financial structures that implement large-scale commercial projects. The decision on laying tracks through the Khimki forest – is a huge step in the direction of the rule of law in the criminal totalitarian regime that denies basic rights of citizens of Russia.

“We insist on a truly fair and independent hearings on toll-speed highway Moscow – St. Petersburg, on the openness of all the information on possible alternatives and that one of them will be chosen, which will cause the least damage to the Khimki forest and the overall quality of the environment in the urban district of Khimki “- leader of the Movement for the Defence Khimki forest Yevgenia Chirikova commented on the immediate aim of the coalition.” We welcome the order of the President of Russia to suspend construction of trails through the woods Khimki and conduct further discussions on the draft “- said Alexey Yaroshenko, head of the forestry department of Greenpeace Russia. “However, we fear that this order is directed only to reassure public opinion. The reality is unreasonable detention and intimidation of defenders of the forests continues, the designers refuse to even discuss alternatives, and the work in the forest is not completely stopped. Wanton detention by the police party Movement for the Defence Khimki forest Jaroslav Nikitenko and keeping him for two days in inhumane conditions proves that the government as a whole is not ready to respect the rights of citizens. ”

“Khimki forest is truly unique for the near suburbs natural area worthy of inclusion in a separate section of the Elk Island National Park” – said Eugene Schwartz, Director of Conservation Programme WWF-Russia. “We hope that common sense will prevail, Khimki forest will be saved and from this will start a review related to forests near Moscow as a reserve excluded from land for construction and infrastructure development. ”

“The attention of the coalition” For the forest near Moscow, will focus on the protection of all forest land in the Moscow region, their ecological role of xtrme high importanc in a n area with very high population density. The preservation and restoration of forests outside Moscow should be the number one priority in regional policy in the decades ahead, because it is nature provide the population of the territory of oxygen and other necessary conditions for life, a lack of which the people living here are already experiencing “- said Alexey Zimenko, director general of the Biodiversity Conservation Center.

Non-governmental environmental organizations and associations that make up the coalition For forests of Moscow region, Khimki intend to strive to maintain the forest, forest-park belt of Moscow and the whole reconstruction of careful and reasonable relationship to the forests of Moscow region.

Persons from all over the world supporting Russian activists

Tord Björk | Uncategorized | Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Information about the persons signing the world wide support call:

Action Alert: Khimki Battle Solidarity 17-20 September

To all friends of forests and people worldwide!

Support Russian activists September 17-20

In a historically courageous struggle people in Russia have been able to halt the construction of a high way through the Khimki forest. While the forests were burning all over Russia the authorities started a wave of detaining, torturing and harassing people in movements defending the Khimki forest close to Moscow. They need our solidarity.

Se the whole call at: http://www.aktivism.info/socialforumjourney/?p=1919

More about the persons signing the call

Today it is much easier to follow what is going on in other countries even if you do not know the language. It is possible to get an impression of the organizations to whom the signatory belongs by looking at the websites below with the help of google translate. This is way you can also follow Russian web sites:

Badrul Alam, Bangladesh Krishok Federation

Is the leader of the peasant movement in Bangladesh with half a million members. Badrul Alam participated in the Climate justice protests at the COP15 in Copenhagen and have also earlier been active in the global justice movement protests at Summits. Bangladesh Krishok Federation is a member of Via Campesina international.

http://viacampesina.org

Patrick Bond, Centre for Civil Society Environmental Justice Project,
Durban, South Africa

Academician and activist, professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where he has directed the Centre for Civil Society since 2004. His research interests include political economy, environment, social policy, and geopolitics. Have been working for the South African government, authoring or editing more than a dozen policy papers. He has been active in several movements for social justice, against privatization, and for climate justice. He is in the board of several international journals and has written many articles and books as South Africa and Global Apartheid – Continental and international policies and politics,  Global uneven development, primitive accumulation and political-economic conflict in Africa: the return of the theory of imperialism, Post-imperialist north-south financial relations?, Against carbon trading as climate change mitigation, Ideology and strategies in the fight against multinational corporate water privatization, and Ideas and strategies in the alterglobalisation movements.

Mark Barrett, Climate Justice Action London

Is trained as a lawyer and now living in London. He has been campaigning on issues of civil liberties, human rights, ecology and democracy. Mark Barrett was inspired by taking part in the anti-APEC and anti-MAI (Multilateral Agreement on Investments) nascent global justice movement. He organised the ‘People in Common’ picnic campaign, a direct action response to the clampdown on peaceful protest in Westminster which grow into the Campaign for a 21st Century Constitution. During the G20 protests in London Mark Barrett was a spokes person for the mobilizations. Following a conference on Human Rights to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Mark and colleagues formed a new network: Project 2012 is dedicated to building a rights based coalition for a new society in the UK and elsewhere. At the same time, as part of his work for the 21st Century Network, the Campaign for Real Democracy (CRD) was set up, aiming at developing a new political economy, and social action based on ‘real’ (as in ‘decentralised’, ‘bottom up’) democracy. The idea is that an independent civil society is the third superpower, which must now stand up as an equal alongside, and ultimately as the master of both state and capital; and that need a new political economy, based on a radical localism, is needed in order to make that a reality.

21st Century Network: http://21st-centurynetwork.com

Climate Justice Action: http://www.climate-justice-action.org

Mark Brown, Art Not Oil/Rising Tide, UK

Is making direct cultural actions promoting climate justice. Art Not Oil has aimed to encourage artists – and would-be artists – to create work that explores the damage that companies like BP and Shell are doing to the planet, and the role art can play in counteracting that damage. It is designed in part to paint a truer portrait of an oil company than the caring image manufactured by ‘cultural activities’ of the oil multinationals which also happen to divert public attention away from their actual activities. Art Not Oil is a project of the climate justice movement Rising Tide UK.

http://www.artnotoil.org.uk

Carmen Buerba de Comite de Defensa Ecologica Michoacana, Mexico

Local environmental activists in the Michoachan region in Mexico, one of million local environmentalists around the world struggling in similar conflicts as Ecodefence is doing in Moscow.

Nicola Bullard, Focus on the Global South, Thailand

Nicola Bullard is a Senior Associate with Focus on the Global South and active in the Climate Justice Now! (CJN!) network. Focus on the Global South is based in Thailand and involved in issues as global economy, peace, democracy and building movement alliances. Climate Justice Now! network brings together international mass movements as Via Campesina, Friends of the Earth International and Jubilee South. Nicola Bullard joined Focus in February 1997. Before that, she worked in Cambodia, Thailand and Australia with human rights, development, and women’s organisations and with trade unions. She has also worked as an editor, journalist and publisher. Nicola studied international relations at the Institute for Social Studies in the Hague, and education, geography and urban sociology in Melbourne. She is Australian.

Focus on the Global South: http://www.focusweb.org

Climate Justice Now!: http://www.climate-justice-now.org

Ellie Cijvat, Friends of the Earth Sweden

Chair of Friends of the Earth Sweden, active in numerous campaigns such as against monoculture in forestry and the Swedish-Finnish corporation Stora Enso exploitation of small farmer lands in Latin America, climate justice, transportation and at the moment in building alliances between environmental and peasant movements in Sweden.

Friends of the Earth Sweden/Miljöförbundet Jordens Vänner: http:// www.mjv.se

Joshua Kahn Russell, Ruckus Society, USA

Has been an activist in Rain Forest Action and at the moment in Ruckus society. He is working to bridge movements for environmental sanity and racial justice. He is a strategy and non-violent direct action trainer with the Ruckus Society, and serves communities impacted by fossil fuel extraction. He works internationally with the Climate Justice Now! network to bring justice to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and has been a leading voice in the International Youth Climate Movement. During the Climate Summit in Copenhagen he started the walk out by NGOs and some members of governmental delegations from the official conference during the Reclaim Power action. In early 2006, Josh was a core organizer in reviving, launching and building the “new” Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a national multi-issue youth & student led group, which grew rapidly to over 250 chapters and nearly 3,000 members nationwide. He graduated in 2006 with degrees in Women’s & Gender Studies and Sociology. At Brandeis he coordinated successful university-wide student strikes with the Brandeis Anti-war Coalition in March of 2003 to protest the invasion of Iraq, and again in May of 2006 on May Day in support of Immigrant Rights. Josh Kahn Russell is a member of Bay Rising Affinity Group, and works with Mobilization for Climate Justice West. He currently lives in Oakland, CA.

Ruckus society http://www.ruckus.org

Tom Kucharz, Ecologistas en Acción, Spain

Is an international activist and coordinator of ecological agriculture and food sovereignty in one of the most influential ecological movements in Europe. Ecologistas en Accion was one of the main forces in building the global justice movement in Europe by initiating and being part of large system-critical alliances opposing the neo-liberal agenda at the World Energy Summit 1992, The 50th anniversary of the Bretton Woods institutions IMF and the World Bank 1994 and the EU Summit 1995, all in Madrid. Tom Kucharz have recently been active in the campaign against a Europe of Capital and member of the organizing committee of People’s Summit Enlazando Alternativas IV, during the EU-Latin America Summit in Madrid this year.

Ecologistas en Acción: https://www.ecologistasenaccion.org

Maduresh Kumar, National Alliance of People’s Movements, India

Have been working with CACIM – India Institute for Critical Action: Centre In Movement and recently joined the mass movement NAPM which was initiated by the Narmada movement. The Narmada movement to prevent the forced eviction of hundreds of thousands of  people due to the construction of dams turned mass civil disobedience into a main model for struggle in the global environmental movement in the end of the 1980s and is still today a key movement for another development in India and a symbol for resistance against the present development model world wide.

National Alliance of People’s Movements: http://napm-india.org

Marea Creciente Mexico

Rising Tide in Mexico, a Climate Justice direct action group at the moment involved in organizing protests during the COP16 Climate summit in Cancun.

Marea Creciente Mexico: http://marea-creciente.org

Adriana Matalonga, Miguel Valencia y Mauricio Villegas from Ecomunidades and Klimaforum10, Mexico

Local environmental activists in the Mexico city region struggling against motorways and other issues of environmental concern as the being against the neoliberal development model. Initiators of the Klimaforum10 process in Mexico towards the Climate Summit COP16 in Cancun late this year.

Ecomunidades: http://red-ecomunidades.blogspot.com

Tannie Nyböe, Climate Justice Action, Denmark

Spokes person for Climate Justice Action during the Climate Summit in Copenhagen December 2009. She is accused of charges including planning violence against police, systematic vandalism and serious disturbance of public peace and order. Some of these charges are drawn from the Danish terror package and the penalties are strengthened by the new Danish anti-protester laws introduced just prior to the COP15. The charges they face are unfounded, but can still potentially result in years in prison.
Tannie Nyböe was in the demonstration van during the Reclaim Power action coming from outside. At present facing trial in October in Copenhagen. Two other spokes persons for Climate Justice Action faced the same charges as and got their verdict late August. They were found not guilty on all charges. Tannie Nyböe is active in the Climate Collective, a key organization in the Climate Justice Action.

Climate Collective: http://www.climatecollective.org/en/start

Uddhab Pyakurel, South Asian Dialogue on Ecological Democracy, India

Is an activist in the Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam international network for comprehensive democracy being involved in the World Social Forum and the South Asian Dialogue on Ecological Democracy.

South Asian Dialogue on Ecological Democracy: http://www.saded.in

Josie Riffaud, Via Campesina, France

Is a flower growing peasant from the Bordeaux district in France. She has been representing Via Campesina internationally in the World Social Forum process and in the civil disobedience actions at the Climate Summit in Copenhagen. Via Campesina is a mass movement for small farmers with some 200 million members world wide and a strong force in uniting people’s movement for social and environmental justice and against repression. Josie Riffaud is a member of the national board of Confédération paysanne, a Via Campesina organisation in France.

Confédération paysanne: http://www.confederationpaysanne.fr

Marko Ulvila, Friends of the Earth Finland

Green party politician and active in Friends of the Earth Finland. Active in numerous campaigns as against the Swedish-Finnish corporation Stora Enso exploitation in Latin America. Have been writing on sustainable consumption globally and the need to see the class dimension in the environmental struggle. Participated on behalf of Friends of the Earth Finland at the founding meeting of People’s Global Action against “Free Trade” and WTO in Geneva 1998 and is presently active on local issuesn, in the Degrowth movement and with Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

Friends of the Earth Finland/Maan Ystävät: http://www.maanystavat.fi

Thomas Wallgren, Democracy Forum Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, Finland

Social Democratic politician and head of the department of philosophy at the university of Helsinki. Veteran in the movement for international solidarity and environmental concerns. Democracy Forum Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam is a long term cooperation to strengthen the idea of comprehensive democracy on all fields of human life inspired by yearly exchange of activists between Finland and India since 1989 on development critique and democratization of society. Organized successful antirepression work in Helsinki during an EU-Asia Summit in 2006.

Demokratiafoorumi Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: http://www.demokratiafoorumi.fi

Action Alert: Khimki Battle Solidarity 17-20 September

Tord Björk | Uncategorized | Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

To all friends of forests and people worldwide!

Support Russian activists September 17-20

In a historically courageous struggle people in Russia have been able to halt the construction of a high way through the Khimki forest. While the forests were burning all over Russia the authorities started a wave of detaining, torturing and harassing people in movements defending the Khimki forest close to Moscow. They need our solidarity.

We call upon the whole international environmental and social justice movement and all wanting to stop criminalization of protest to support our friends in Russia. Take action on 17-20 September! Follow the call enclosed below issued by The Campaign for the Release of the Khimki Hostages for making actions at embassies and other places representing Russia.

Immediate actions are necessary. The decision by president Medvedev to halt the construction of the high way is only temporary. The heavy repression of the protest movement and especially the antifascist activists makes no halt. Environmentalists, human rights activists, journalists fighting corruption, Anarchists and other antifascists, alter globalization movement, Liberal, Communist and Left wing parties have been able to struggle in solidarity in the midst of heavy repression achieving this first victory. This in spite of different ideological positions and views on tactics. Their unity is an example for the rest of the world and needs support.

The Khimki forest conflict have become historically important and of global concern. Behind the destruction of the forest in Russia is a neoliberal development model which do not care for the environment. Three years ago the federal forest protection service was closed down and 70 000 workers mainly working in the field fired and replaced by 12 000 bureaucrats supposed to see to that others should do what the workers had done earlier. The result is a reduced lack of capacity to halt fires when the weather gets warmer and warmer. At the same time is dismantling of public services and support of privatization also at the core of construction of roads and cities were private profit becomes more important than protection of nature or the interest of people in common. Through the Khimki forest is the first toll high way in Russia between Moscow and St Petersburg planned making an odd detour through the green belt. Road construction is highly lucrative in Russia with its added possibilities for exploitation of land beside the road. Close ties between economic and political interests makes it possible to use any means against those opposing this neoliberal development model, a reason for why those openly criticizing the corruption in Khimki are murdered or maltreated followed by no serious investigation by the police.

Those making much profit out of the environmentally destructive development model are European banks and corporations. The high way is planned to be financed primarily by European banks and the French construction company Vinci is a main contractor. When our Russian friends are struggling to defend the Khimki forest they are also struggling against a neoliberal development model making Russia into a profitable market for Western corporations.

The Russian movement to defend the Khimki forest is a movement defending all forests. If corporations and politicians working in the interest of a global neoliberal and environmentally destructive model is able to exploit the Khimki forest and continue repressing the activists in spite of a historically broad and strong movement in Russia defending the forest, than it can be done anywhere. Solidarity with the activists is the only way to both stop repression and to save the Khimki forest more permanently. Please join the action called for by our Russian friends!
Badrul Alam, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh

Patrick Bond, Centre for Civil Society Environmental Justice Project,
Durban, South Africa

Mark Barrett, Climate Justice Action London, UK
Mark Brown, Art Not Oil/Rising Tide, UK

Carmen Buerba de Comite de Defensa Ecologica Michoacana, Mexico

Nicola Bullard, Focus on the Global South, Thailand

Ellie Cijvat, Friends of the Earth Sweden

Joshua Kahn Russell, Ruckus Society, USA

Tom Kucharz, Ecologistas en Acción, Spain

Maduresh Kumar, National Alliance of People’s Movements, India

Marea Creciente Mexico

Adriana Matalonga, Miguel Valencia y Mauricio Villegas from Ecomunidades and Klimaforum10, Mexico

Tannie Nyböe, Climate Justice Action, Denmark

Uddhab Pyakurel, South Asian Dialogue on Ecological Democracy, India

Josie Riffaud, Via Campesina, France

Marko Ulvila, Friends of the Earth Finland

Thomas Wallgren, Democracy Forum Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, Finland

You find information and the call for action September 17-20 issued by Campaign for the Release of the Khimki Hostages in many languages at www.khimkibattle.org. Below you find the text in English, Spanish, and French and more links on the issue.

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A Call for International Days of Action in Support of Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov

September 17–20, 2010

On July 28, 2010, more than two hundred young antifascists and anarchists carried out a spontaneous demonstration outside the town administration building in Khimki, a suburb of Moscow. They demonstrated in defence of the Khimki Forest, which was at that time in the process of beings cutting down for the needs of big business. The demonstration, during which several windows were broken, received a great deal of public attention. The authorities responded with a wave of repressions. The day after the demonstration, two well-known social activists, Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov, were arrested. They are now threatened with up to seven years in prison for disorderly conduct, although there is no evidence of their complicity in illegal activities. Meanwhile, the police continue to hunt down and harass other activists, especially those involved in the antifascist movement.

The campaign to save the Khimki Forest has been going on for the past three years. The authorities had decided to build a segment of a planned Moscow–Saint Petersburg toll highway, the first of its kind in Russia, through the forest. This would lead to the deterioration of environmental conditions in the region, and local residents and Muscovites would be deprived of yet another recreation zone. Despite the availability of alternative routes that would not require clear-cutting the forest and vigorous protests by environmentalists and ordinary citizens against the planned route, the authorities f0r a long time ignored the voice of society and on several occasions took measures to suppress their critics.

Khimki authorities and the highway project contractor have used violence and other tactics against Khimki Forest defenders. They refused to give permission for protest demonstrations, recruited nationalist thugs to break up a peaceful protest camp organized by environmentalists and local residents, and illegally arrested and beat up journalists covering the story. Nearly two years ago, Mikhail Beketov, editor-in-chief of the newspaper Khimkinskaya Pravda and a critic of the local administration, was severely beaten by persons unknown; the attack left Beketov permanently disabled. Sergei Protozanov, the layout designer of another local opposition paper, was murdered in similar circumstances six months later.

After the July 28 demonstration, the Russian police and secret services unleashed an unprecedented dragnet against antifascists. People who had even just once come to the attention of the Center for Extremism Prevention and FSB for their involvement with the antifascist movement have been forcibly taken in for questioning. In several cases they  have been subjected to harsh physical coercion in order to compel them to give the testimony required by investigators. In addition, illegal searches have been carried out in their apartments. All these actions on the part of law enforcement authorities are violations of Russian and international law.

Frightened by the numerous and growing protests against the clear-cutting of the Khimki Forest, the authorities have finally made concessions by agreeing to review the advisability of the planned route for the toll highway. But this does not mean victory. Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov are still in police custody for no reason at all. They are hostages of the authorities.

In late September, the next hearing in their case will take place. The judge will decide whether to keep them in police custody pending completion of the investigation and trial. Everyone who cares about the fate of these two young men must do everything in their power to see that they are set free. The Campaign for the Release of the Khimki Hostages calls on people around the world to organize days of action on September 17, 18, 19, and 20 to pressure the Russian authorities to release Alexei and Maxim.

We ask you to hold protests outside of Russian Federation embassies, consulates, trade missions, and cultural centers, as well as at public events and concerts connected to Russia. We also ask you to send faxes, e-mails, and protest letters to the court, the prosecutor’s office, and the country’s political leadership. In the very nearfuture we will inform you of addresses where you can send these protests as well as more details about the ongoing repressions in Russia. Look for this information on our website http://khimkibattle.org in English, German, Russian, and French.

Join our campaign!

Campaign for the Release of the Khimki Hostages

+7 (915) 053-5912 * info@khimkibattle.org * http://khimkibattle.org

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Back ground information:

Chtodelat news, Khimki Territory of Lawlessness
Khimki: Territory of Lawlessness

Why we need solidarity with Russian environmentalists and antifascists

Why we need solidarity with Russian environmentalists and antifascists

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Below the call issued by Campaign for the Release of the Khimki Hostages also in Spanish, French and Russian:

Llamamiento a acciones internacionales en apoyo de Alexei Gaskárov y Maxim Sólopov del 17 al 20 de septiembre de 2010.

El 28 de julio de 2010 en frente de la administración municipal de Khimki, una ciudad en las afueras de Moscú, más de 200 jóvenes antifascistas y anarquistas mantuvieron una manifestación espontánea en apoyo del bosque de Khimki que en aquel momento estaba siendo talado para las necesidades de grandes empresas. La acción, durante la cual varias ventanas fueron dañadas, recibió una amplia publicidad. Por su parte, las autoridades respondieron con represalias. El día después de la manifestación dos prominentes activistas de un movimiento social – Alexei Gaskárov y Maxim Sólopov – fueron detenidos. Los dos jóvenes podrían ser sentenciados a siete años de prisión por vandalismo mientras que no existen pruebas de su implicación en las actividades ilegales. Otros activistas, en particular los que están involucrados en el movimiento antifascista, siguen siendo objetos de una cacería policial.

Ya hace tres años que la lucha por la salvación del bosque de Khimki continúa en esa pequeña ciudad rusa. La intención de las autoridades locales es utilizar el terreno para la construcción de una autopista de pago – la primera en Rusia – de Moscú a San Petersburgo, que finalmente conduciría a un deterioro de la situación ecológica en la región y privaría a la población local y los moscovitas de una zona recreativa. A pesar de la disponibilidad de rutas alternativas que no requieran la tala del bosque, y las protestas rigorosas de ecologistas y ciudadanos de a pie contra el trazado elegido, las autoridades no quieren escuchar a la población. Por el contrario, las autoridades muchas veces han tomado medidas para silenciar a sus críticos.

Las autoridades de Khimki, junto con la empresa constructora más de una vez han recurrido a la violencia contra los defensores del bosque de Khimki: varias veces han desestimado la opinión pública, se han negado a ponerse de acuerdo sobre las protestas, han recurrido a los nacionalistas para disolver protestas pacíficas de ecologistas y de la población local, han detenido ilegal mente y golpeado a periodistas. Desconocidos mutilaron al crítico de la administración municipal, el editor jefe del periódico “Khimkinskaya pravda” Mikhail Béketov, y mataron al compaginador del otro periódico de oposición Serguei Protazánov.

Después de la manifestación del 28 de julio de 2010 la policía rusa y las fuerzas de seguridad iniciaron una cacería sin precedentes a los antifascistas. Las personas, una vez hayan sido detectados como antifascistas por el Centro para la lucha contra el extremismo y el FSB, – contra todas las normas jurídicas – están siendo detenidas y transportadas a la fuerza para ser interrogadas mientras que sus apartamentos son registrados sin ningún orden judicial, y en algunos casos en los interrogatorios se recurre a la violencia para extraer declaraciones necesarias.

Asustadas por muchas protestas contra el talado del bosque de Khimki que cada vez ganaban en fuerza, las autoridades finalmente hicieron concesiones, dispuestos a comprobar la ruta elegida de la autopista. Pero esto aún no significa la victoria. Alexei Gaskárov y Maxim Sólopov continúan en custodia sin ningún fundamento, mantenidos por las autoridades como rehenes.

A finales de septiembre está programada una sesión judicial donde se decidirá sobre la medida preventiva contra Alexei y Maxim. Todos los que se preocupan por su destino deben hacer todo lo posible por su liberación. La campaña por la liberación de rehenes de Khimki llama a organizar acciones internacionales y realizar presión sobre las autoridades rusas del 17 al 20 de septiembre de 2010 para lograr la liberación de Alexei y Maxim.

Hacemos un llamamiento para celebrar mítins cerca de las embajadas, consulados, misiones comerciales e culturales de la Federación Rusa en el mundo, en los actos públicos y conciertos relacionados con Rusia, así mismo enviar faxes y cartas de protesta al tribunal, la fiscalía y el gobierno rusos. Las direcciones para enviar las protestas y la información detallada sobre las represiones en Rusia serán enviadas más adelante. Próximamente serán disponibles en nuestra página web http://khimkibattle.org en inglés, alemán, ruso, francés y español.

La campaña por la liberación de rehenes de Khimki

Contactos: +7 (915) 053-59-12

info@khimkibattle.org

http://khimkibattle.org

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Appel à des Journées d’action internationales

Liberté pour les ôtages de Khimki!

Appel à des Journées d’action internationales pour Alekseï Gaskarov et Maxime Solopov

Les 17-20 septembre 2010

Le 28 juillet 2010 plus de 200 personnes, jeunes antifascistes et anarchistes ont mené une manifestation spontanée devant la mairie de Khimki (la banlieue nord de Moscou), à la défense de la forêt de cette ville qui a été abbattu au profit du grand business. L’action lors de laquelle plusieurs vitres ont été brisées, a trouvé un large écho. De leur côté, les autorités y ont répondu par des répressions. Au lendemain de l’action deux militants des mouvements sociaux connus, Alekseï Gaskarov et Maxime Solopov ont été arrêtés. Ils sont menacés de 7 ans de prison pour vandalisme bien qu’il n’y ait pas de preuves de leur complicité à des actes illégaux. D’autres militants, surtout des antifascistes, subissent des poursuites policières.

La lutte pour la conservation de la forêt de KhimkI dure déjà depuis trois ans. D’après les projets des autorités, c’est à travers de cette forêt que doit être construite l’autoroute à péage Moscou-St-Petersbourg, la première de tel type en Russie; ce qui menera à une dégradation de la situation écologique locale et privera les moscovites et les banlieusards d’une zone de recréation en plus. Malgré l’existence des plans alternatifs pour l’autoroute qui permettraient de se passer d’une déforestation et au dépit des protestations actives des écologistes et de la population locale, les autorités ont refusé d’y prêter l’oreille. Au contraire, elles ont fait plusieurs démarches visées à imposer le silence aux contestateurs.

Plus d’une fois les autorités de Khimki (en concertation avec la compagnie de bâtiment chargée des travaux) ont recouru à la violence contre les défenseurs de la forêt de la ville: en négligeant l’opinion publique, en refusant de permettre des actions de protestation, en appellant les nationalistes à disperser les piquets des écologistes et des habitants de la ville, en arrêtant illégalement et en attaquant les journalistes. Les “personnes inconnues” ont mutilé le rédacteur en chef du journal local “Khimkinskaïa Pravda” Mikhaïl Beketov qui avait âprement critiqué les autorités, et ils ont assassiné le metteur en pages d’un autre journal d’opposition, Sergueï Protazanov.

Après l’action du 28 juillet 2010 la police russe et les services secrets ont déclenché une chasse aux antifascistes sans précédents. Les personnes une fois signalées à l’attention du Centre anti-extrémiste et du Service fédéral de sûreté (l’ex-KGB) en tant qu’antifascistes, sont amenées de force aux interrogatoires, les visites à domicile illégales se tiennent chez eux; il y a des cas des pressions physiques atroces pour arracher des dépositions dont l’instruction a besoin.

Ayant peur d’une vague montante des protestations contre la déforestation, les autorités ont enfin reculé en exprimant la volonté de reviser le projet de l’autoroute. Mais il n’y a pas lieu de crier victoire. Alekseï Gaskarov et Maxime Solopov sont toujours en prison sans droit, pris en ôtage par les autorités.

A la fin septembre se tiendra la prochaine audience pénale qui devra prononcer sur une mise en liberté d’Alekseï et de Maxime dans l’attente du jugement. Tous ceux qui s’inquiètent de leur sort, doivent faire tout leur possible pour les arracher de la prison. La Campagne pour la mise en liberté des ôtages de Khimki appelle à des Journées d’action internationales les 17-20 septembre 2010 pour mettre de la pression sur les autorités russes en vue d’obtenir la libération d’Alekseï et de Maxime.

Nous appelons à organiser des manifestations devant les ambassades, les consulats, les missions économiques et culturelles de la Fédération de Russie, aux événements publics et culturels qui ont des rapports à la Russie, tout comme d’envoyer des télécopies et des lettres au tribunal, au Parquet et au gouvernement russes (la journée principale de la campagne fax sera lundi le 20 septembre). Les adresses nécessaries et les détails supplémentaires sur les répressions en Russie seront bientôt communiqués. Vous pouvez les trouver aussi sur notre site web: http://khimkibattle.org en anglais, allemand, français et russe.

Unissez-vous à l’action!

Campagne pour la mise en liberté des ôtages de Khimki

Tel.: +7 (915) 053-59-12

http://khimkibattle.org

info@khimkibattle.org

Prague Spring II: Call to Action in Europe September 29

Tord Björk | Uncategorized | Saturday, September 4th, 2010

Italian poster for the Manifestation on 29th of September

CALL TO ACTION IN EUROPE
AGAINST THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF THE CURRENT CRISES

We call upon all social movements in Europe to unite against the crisis and participate in the international day of action on 29th of September initiated by the European Trade Union Confederation. Only together can we achieve the necessary solutions to the social and environmental crisis. We say yes to solutions creating jobs and serving common needs paid by stopping the rich from accumulating a larger and larger part of the wealth in society.

The whole world has been hit by a severe financial, economic, social and environmental crisis. Globally, the most severely hit region is Central and Eastern Europe. But all over Europe from Latvia to Iceland, Russia to Romania and Greece to Spain we can see social and environmental problems growing and we are sure that the worst of them are still to come. Today’s crises are  systemic ones driven by the neoliberal ideology that have sold out long-term investment, jobs, wages, the environment and the general well-being of the planet and its people for the benefit of a few.

The aggressive principles of financial capitalism are building up threats to democracy and peace.  Nationalisation of problems caused by the multiple crisis leads to divisions and hunt for scapegoats within the various societies, as well as to splits between North and South, East and West. We can see the advance of Right wing, populist and extremist forces as well as the state repression of progressive movements in many parts of the world.

The representatives of the social movements of Europe gathered in Istanbul between 1st and 4th July 2010 explored the effects of these crises on the lives of people. They came to the conclusion that the EU and the IMF with the complicity of the governments impose austerity and social regression policies, which cause serious social degradation and make people fall into poverty. The global crises are spilling over into our lives, threatening jobs, savings, pensions and public services and environmental protection everywhere!

To challenge these policies it is an urgent need to build an European-wide struggle which brings together social movements, workers, peasants, women, youth, environmental and others activists organized in associations, trade unions or networks of different kinds. Solutions can be found by simultaneously addressing the social and environmental needs. We should elaborate constructive programmes for a transition of our societies towards social and environmental justice, protecting and developing our commons.

We call upon all peoples’ movements in Europe to act against the crises and struggle for solutions that give jobs and make the rich pay. What we need is a massive mobilisation across all of Europe on the 29th of September 2010.

3rd September, 2010                                                    Prague Spring II Network

More information about 29th of September mobilization at:

The meeting in Prague March 2010 that initiated the Prague Spring II network.

Read more at:
The Alternative to the Right-Wing Extremism in the Time of Social and Ecological Crisis
http://www.aktivism.info/socialforumjourney/?p=1543
And more contributions to the conference Prague and the activities of the network at ESF in Istanbul here:
http://www.aktivism.info/socialforumjourney/?s=prague

Historic COP15 victory against summit repression

Tord Björk | Uncategorized | Saturday, September 4th, 2010

Tash & Noah: Freedom speech at city court from Climate Collective on Vimeo.

The court has found climate activists Noah Weiss and Natasha Verco from Climate Collective in Copenhagen innocent to all charges made by the state prosecutor. Among the charges was incitement to violence against police and disturbing the public order. Both were arrested in connection with protests during COP 15 in Copenhagen, at different dates that were not linked to the demonstrations.

Noah and Tash with the infamous bolt cutter

Trials have been a tragicomedy. The two were initially accused of guilt for almost all actions taken during the Climate Conference. This after the same pattern causing ten-double penalties for protests at the EU summit in Gothenburg 2001, where all the accused were considered to have collective guilt to all riots that motivated extra heavy penalties. In Denmark, however, some of the most extreme unreasonable charges of terrorism against the accused were dropped early in the process but the accused were anyway faced with the possibility of long prison terms according to the new Danish law against civil disobedience.

The trials reached one of its tragicomical highlights when the prosecutor pointed out that one of the notebooks seized from one of the accused contained a notice of a bolt cutter. He took this as an evidence of planning violent action in connection with protests against the policies that create climate refugees by lack of fair and effective action against global warming. After the prosecutor’s accusation members of the audience brought the bolt cutter to the court room. It was three meters long and consisted of papier-mâché and is used in symbolic protests against the refugee policies.


RELEASE THE CLIMATE ACTIVISTS – PUT THE COPS IN PRISON, banner at Solidarity action at the Danish embassy in Stockholm by Klimax before the verdict

The trials of the two accused and other preventive arrested or detained during the climate summit, have lined up many similar desperate attempts to prove activists guilt and police innocence. This was also for long the view in the media during the summit but it did not hold in the court. Denmark did not repeat the decay in a judicial system after a summit in the way it was done in Sweden after Gothenburg in 2001. The wind has turned, and the threat of 12 years in prison, hundreds of thousands of Danish crowns in fines and expulsion from the country where the two accused have their daily lives have been turned to the acquittal on all charges. Long live the Danish judiciary’s rejection of the police worldview and freedom!

Tord Björk, active in the Friends of the Earth Sweden

Links:

Climate Collective website: http://www.klimakollektivet.dk/en/start/

Danish newspaper Politiken on appeal: http://politiken.dk/indland/1048307/klimaaktivister-frifundet-for-vold/

Natasha and Noah at the demo, photo Tord Björk

Report on August 18 demonstration in support of the accused and declaring that nothing but acquittal was an opportunity if law and justice should be based on truth, according to Danish tradition since 1243:
Danish law in 1243: Truth! 2010: Power? http://www.aktivism.info/socialforumjourney/?p=1800

On the trials against the police for the detention of innocent people during the climate summit with request for damages:
Final countdown for Political Theater at COP15 Trial, http://www.aktivism.info/socialforumjourney/?p=1846

The historical mass arrest of 918 innocent demonstrators on December 12 without collective efforts by the Danish organizers to act in solidarity with their invited marchers. The Danish courts are now doing what the Danish representative organizations afraid of their reputation in mass media did not do: find the accusations against the non-violent activists and demonstrators invalid.

Background to the trials and the lack of collective protests against Danish organizations repression during the summit:
The Whole World on Trial
http://www.aktivism.info/socialforumjourney/?p=1109

Denmark: Letter from two climate activists facing jail for Copenhagen protest
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/43500

From Climate Collective website, see link above:

Danish Court: Climate activists are innocent
Posted on 31st August 2010

The Copenhagen City Court has today ruled that Natasha Verco and Noah Weiss are innocent. The two climate activists were charged for organizing illegal activities during the COP15 summit in Copenhagen in 2009. But the charges didn’t stand in court. The verdict discredits the violent methods adopted by police during the climate summit, when politically active people were denied their democratic right to criticize the climate negotiations.

Natasha Verco feels that the entire process has been absurd:

There has been a very clear political purpose behind these court cases, and the verdict is totally absurd. In the whole case the evidence has been related to fully legal activities, that the police has tried to manipulate, in order to make them appear illegal. It has been all from prints of posters, to finding parking lots fors sound equipments and participating in open information meetings for hundreds of people.

Both Natasha and Noah feel, that the case should put an end to the police undemocratic methods:

I see this as a victory, not only for us, but for the legal rights in Denmark. And it also means that no longer can the police use manipulation of evidence and lies to repress politically active people. I assume that also Tannie and Stine, who are going to court in October, will be acquitted as well, says Noah Weiss.
Background

2000 people have been arrested during the climate summit in December, and many were preventively arrested during the big climate demonstration on December 12th, 2009. These incidents, has later been criticized, among others, by Amnesty International. Now there are four people charged for having, according to police, planned actions during the summit. Among them are Natasha Verco, 32 years old Australian woman, and the American student Noah Weiss.

Natasha Verco and Noah Weiss are accused to having planned violence against police, disturbance of public order and vandalism. These are the charges, that could lead to several years of prison and deportation.

Action in Sweden in support of Noah and Natasha commenting on the verdict:

http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=0&sl=sv&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.klimax.se%2Farkiv%2Faktion-mot-danska-ambassaden-upprattelse-aktivisterna-fran-cop15

Australian woman freed from Danish prison

http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2009/s2785466.htm

Copenhagen protesters acquitted
Jessica Mahar, Sydney Morning Herald

“Speaking outside the court, Ms Verco, the co-founder of Friends of the Earth Sydney, said justice was served and called the outcome a win for free speech and democracy.”
http://www.smh.com.au/world/copenhagen-protesters-acquitted-20100901-14nmg.html

Activist prepares to face court in Copenhagen
Amy Corderoy
March 12, 2010

“AN AUSTRALIAN arrested and held for nearly three weeks for organising a protest against the Copenhagen climate change conference has been charged with offences commonly used in terrorism cases.

Natasha Verco – who faces up to 12½ years in prison if convicted – said the authorities had targeted her because she was not a Danish citizen.”

http://www.smh.com.au/world/activist-prepares-to-face-court-in-copenhagen-20100311-q1m8.html

12 December 2004 – Call of the Land

Natasha Verco and others on Australians’ relationship with the physical environment.

ABC production

http://www.abc.net.au/compass/s1264129.htm

ESF-6: Rise up! Another answer to the crisis is possible: Public Education

Tord Björk | education,ESF,Uncategorized | Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Assembly  Education
6th ESF Istanbul, 3rd  July 2010

Student activists from Istanbul at seminar during ESF

We, people of the public education, gathered in Istanbul for the sixth European Social Forum call for a period of mobilization next autumn

We want to use  the 29th  of September, a day of demonstration and trade union actions across every country of Europe and the surrounding dates ,to extend the mobilization and  to act together in Europe on our platform.

During this period, from the end of September to the beginning October,
we call for mobilizations,  strikes, demonstrations and actions all around Europe to reaffirm the right to free public education for everybody and to defend and increase  workers rights on the basis of the platform below.

We will  continue supporting, during the following two years, national demonstrations and counter summit against the European education ministers summits, as we did last May in Madrid.

We will organize  meetings in several european cities in order to involve more and more people,  in order to share our experiences and connect our struggles against neoliberal policies, we will actively approach students and workers organizations involved in the education struggles to participate in these meetings ;we will therefore issue a call for participating in the next meeting of education.

The crisis must be paid by those who caused it !

Our governments are using the crisis  to cancel all the workers rights obtained  by the movements in the last 100 years and to decrease salaries and pensions.
They are using the diktat of IMF and EU to approve  anti crisis measures paid only by workers (like in Greece , in Italy, Portugal, Spain ,France…) one of the solutions is to tax speculators. They have to pay the crisis!

Stop cuts of public spending in education, stop reduction of the curricula and  cuts to school time,  classes and subjects, stop privatization and  co modification of education systems:
we struggle for more investments in public education , for free education and research;
we struggle  to stop the casualization of  school workers in order to provide a better quality of education for everybody.

Stop the introduction of  evaluation tests based on skills determined by the market, stop teaching for competences oriented by the market:
we struggle for the right to free, secular, quality education , for the right to critical thinking, for the right, for every human being to have a full access to knowledge, and to become an aware and active citizen , to have equal rights for genders and not to have a patriarchal perspective of education.
We struggle for the right to education in one’s own tongue.

We support the Word Education Forum , in Santiago de Compostella from 10th to 13th December together with the WSF in Dakar and we’ll support the  World Education Forum in Palestine,  from 28th to 31st  October and we will work in order to organize there activities together with our Palestinian friends.

ESF-6: System change, not climate change! A just transition towards a good life for all

From the climate justice network
“System change, not climate change!
A just transition towards a good life for all”
6th ESF Istanbul, 3rd  July 2010

Presenting the climate justice network statement to ASM

The newspapers may speak of financial and economic crises, but when we look around ourselves, we don’t see derivates and financial markets – what we see is the destruction of communities, of our social and natural environments, of our relations to each other. What we see is capitalism destroying us. Against this destruction, and the austerity that follows in its wake, people are resisting, people are fighting back, people are beginning to create the new worlds we know to be necessary: from Ghana to Greece, from Copenhagen to Cochabamba, from Bangkok to Brussels. We from climate and social justice movements gathered at the European Social Forum in Istanbul, are a part of and inspired by these global processes of resistance and creation, but also realise that we need to fight where we stand: to create another world, we also need to create another Europe and tear down the walls of the fortress that surround it.
Against those who try to create divisions between social and ecological justice, we assert that they do not contradict each other. They are and have to be complementary. Our vision is of a good life for all, not a nightmare of authoritarian eco-austerity.
Against those who oppose people’s desire to have good and well-paid jobs and to move beyond the madness of infinite growth on a finite planet, we are calling for a just transition in the way we work, in the structures of production and consumption. While there are many things we need more of, there is much we need less of. For example, we need to stop the destructive energy production practices involving coal, oil, nuclear and hydropower, or to end the madness of building individual cars for everybody. At the same time, we need to expand community-controlled renewable energies, food sovereignty as well as public services that contribute to our goal of a good life for all, like free public transport, health, housing and education. This would create millions of socially and ecologically useful jobs.
This is what we mean by just transition, by climate justice: it does not mean having the ‘right’ position on what is being negotiated at UN-climate summits. It’s not about parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere. Although it is important to change our individual behaviours, climate justice is about fundamentally changing our model of production and consumption of food, goods, energy, of our entire lives. It is about finally making amends for the ecological debt we owe the rest of the world.
We in Europe are only now starting on the road towards climate justice, creating and resisting in many different ways, such as direct action, the building of local alternatives, civil disobedience or public campaigning to name a few. There are many opportunities already such as:

–    26/8: solidarity actions coinciding with the trial in Copenhagen of Tash Verco and Noah Weiss

–    Summer 2010 : Climate and No Border camps are happening all over Europe

–    29/9: European trade union day of action

–    between the 10th and the 17th of October, different networks are calling for action on climate justice: the 12th will be a day of direct action for climate justice; the 16th a day of action against Monsanto

–    From the 29th of November to the 10th of December, the 16th UN-climate summit will be held in Cancun, Mexico: we will be creating a ‘thousand Cancuns’ to protest their false solutions and point the way towards real climate and social justice

French rural activist exchanging experience at one of the seminars on just transition

ESF-6: The freedom to move, the right to stay

Tord Björk | ESF,migrants,Uncategorized | Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Assembly
The freedom to move, the right to stay
6th ESF Istanbul, 3rd  July 2010

We, the people and activist groups participating in the workshops, seminars and actions organized by the Migrant Network call on fighting for the freedom of movement and the right to stay. We call on movements, organizations, individuals all over Europe in order to struggle against the murderous European border regime in which Frontex is the driving force and for the closure of all detention centers.
We call on movements, organizations individuals all over Europe to support the struggles of workers focusing on the ones without papers and rights and to fight against the racism and the precarization and exploitation of migrants, increased in the context of the global economic crisis.
We support all the campaigns, initiatives and struggles and we call on people here on continuing and strengthening networking and proceed in common transnational struggles.

Calendar

•    Greece   Swarming No border actions  27/8 – 11/9 In continuity with Lesvos NoBorder camp, actions will take place in support of the migrants and against European border regime in Samos and Lesvos islands.
•    18th of September in Paris mobilization against the new law about migration
•    Bruxelles No border camp 24/9 – 3/10.
•    5-6 of October in  Oujda/Melilla, Moroco, International Conference and an action for the 5th anniversary of the storm and the killings of migrants at the fences to EU.
•    Jan – feb 2011 Caravan from Bamako in Mali to Dakar (World Social Forum).
•    1st of  March, day without us, day of translational action to protest against the exploitation of workers without papers.

Campaigns

•    Frontexplode:  campaign against the European border agency Frontex.
•    Campaign against Dublin II – Welcome to EU network, for  information and support to refugees and migrants on their way to Europe.

Proposals
No border camp migrant Labour  focusing deeper on people moving and being exploited. There are experiences of workers without documents in France striking for months and also in different countries there are more and more struggles selforganized by migrants

Crossover with Education
Network of people working in Educational Spaces in order to elaborate projects, exchange ideas and work, resist to narrowing contents in school and the attack to public schools in order to build elitarian racist situation A mailing list is going to start and a first draft for an international call will be made

Crossover with Antirepression
Network to campaign against detention centre and the state control which is getting more and more information under the hypocrite idea of security all over Europe

Crossover with Climate Change
Climate change is determining a new category of refugees migrants. We continue saying that Freedom to move and right to stay are important. Agriculture and big projects like dams are changing the situations and force people to move as well as political, social and economical reasons

ESF-6: Peace and war

Tord Björk | ESF,Summits,Uncategorized,war | Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Assembly
Peace and War
6th ESF Istanbul, 3rd  July 2010

Peace banner bloc in the ESF demo

The war and peace assembly denounces that at a time of economic crisis, European states are increasing their military budgets and trade of weapons. The European Union  is not the “soft power” it meant to be. To protect peace and social needs, we call peace and antiwar movements to join the trade unions protest on the 29th of September.

We support the Week of Action against the NATO summit of 15-21 November 2010 in Lisbon in order to oppose the new NATO strategy that is a major obstacle to achieving world peace. We call for an immediate end of the war in Afghanistan and the withdrawal of the troops, and we are ready to mobilize for the tragic anniversary of the invasion on 8-9 October.

The assembly strongly supports the mobilization of Kurdish and Turkish movements for a peaceful and democratic solution of the Kurdish issue, there is no military way out of the conflict. We stand in solidarity with the Kurdish elected representatives that will be on trial on 18 October for simply defending human rights of their people.

The military occupation of Cyprus should come to an end, to allow peaceful life on the island.
We urge for a peaceful Caucasus and invite everybody to participate in the peace conference in June 2011 in Tbilissi.

We mourn the loss of those killed by the Israeli military while trying to break the illegal siege of Gaza and call for accountability of those responsible. This assembly stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people and the Israeli movements for justice for Palestinians and endorses the Palestinian civil society call for a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with Palestinian rights based on international law. We call for an escalation of coordinated campaigns against institutions and companies complicit with Israeli violations of Palestinian rights, of the complicity of European governments with Israeli impunity and the EU-Israel Association Agreement. The whole region needs to be denuclearized, as stated again in the NPT conference, and Mordechai Vanunu deserves freedom and honour for his courage to reveal the Israeli nuclear arsenal.

The European Social Forum, that was a fundamental space to organize the huge 2003 mobilization against the war in Iraq, does not forget the suffering of Iraqi people and supports its human rights groups, unions and social movements through the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative that will meet in Paris in the first week of December.

The assembly supports actions and campaigns to stop private military and security companies, and campaigns against the militarization of European borders, such as the week of mobilization against Frontex on 27-31 August in Greece and actions in Bruxelles on 24 September – 3 October.

All these causes and campaigns will be celebrated in the International Day of Peace, 21 September, and in the Thematic Social Forum for a Culture of Peace in Santiago de Compostela on 9-12 December, for the global demilitarization, denuclearization of economies and societies.

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