PARIS-The Peace Wall next to the Eiffel Tower on Thursday was the backdrop for those determined to maintain or win their human rights. Representatives from Indigenous, Black, Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander organizations gathered to convey the message: It Takes Roots to Weather the Storm. Multiple groups such as Idle No More, Femme El Justice of Africa Economique, Indigenous Environmental Network, Global Peoples Surge, International League of People’s Struggle, CODEPINK, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Just Transition Alliance, and Marcha Mundial de Las Mujeres gathered to project their voices and to be heard saying that the current situation at COP21 is leading toward a global spiral of environmental and economic destruction. Speakers all said that the US is leading this decline by creating carbon market “loopholes and false solutions.”
“We are deeply concerned at President Obama’s failure to model authentic leadership in the global arena, and appalled by the glaring contradictions between his moving speech and actual action. We refuse to accept that,” said Brandon King of the It Takes Roots Delegation.
The action included performances with visuals that were part of a three-pronged metaphor for roots, storm and seeds. Each component was said to symbolize the environmental and economic destruction while shining a light on resilience of climate change impacted communities that are resisting this devastation head on. The It Takes Roots Delegation represents communities living alongside fracking wells, coal power plants, and oil refineries who say they are already facing the worst impacts of the climate crisis. The words resonated that these marginalized communities in the directly-affected areas are coming up with real, alternative solutions that can simultaneously rebuild economies through alternative models like just transition, cooperative systems, and collective ownership, while restoring essential ecological balance.
The Peace Wall was built amidst a growing concern for war and rising US militarism over resources and global conflicts. A banner baring the words, ” No War, No Warming,” rose over the crowd to call attention to war, resources and the growing conflicts resulting from climate change.
photos: KGNU News
Denver resident Shawna Foster, member of Iraq Veterans against the War speaks to KGNU.
Denise Abdul-Rahman from Indiana in the US.