Archive for the ‘Historic Documents Indigenous Peoples UNFCC’ Category

Like a Dull Knife: The People’s Climate “Farce” (Quincy Saul, Truthout)

Friday, September 19th, 2014

By Quincy Saul, Truthout

In the lead-up to any large-scale protest, it is useful to bear in mind the potential dangers and drawbacks of such an endeavor. On the eve of what is being advertised as “the biggest climate march in history,” we might reflect on Malcolm X’s experience of the March on Washington, as recounted in the Autobiography of Malcolm X:

“Farce in Washington”, I call it. . . . It was like a movie. . . . For the status-seeker, it was a status symbol. “Were you there?”. . . . It had become an outing, a picnic. . . . What originally was planned to be an angry riptide, one English newspaper aptly described now as “the gentle flood”. . . . there wasn’t a single logistics aspect uncontrolled. . . . They had been told how to arrive, when, where to arrive, where to assemble, when to start marching, the route to march. . . . Yes, I was there. I observed that circus.

Of course, not everyone present concurred with Malcolm X about the March on Washington – and even in a top-down format, one hopes the upcoming march could draw much-needed attention to the climate movement. The question is: At what cost? In this vein, what follows are a few reflections on the buildup to the September 21 People’s Climate March in New York City, to provide some concrete analysis of concrete conditions, and propose some solutions.


The climate justice movement has an expiration date. If the tipping points in the earth system are passed, and the feedback loops begin their vicious cycle, human attempts at mitigation will be futile, and climate justice will become an anachronism – or at worst a slogan for geo-engineering lobbies. Thousands of scientists have come to consensus on this point, and many years ago gave us a deadline: A carbon emissions peak in 2015 followed by rapid and permanent decline.

In other words, we have roughly four months to work for climate justice. The world is literally at stake; all life on earth is at risk. Never has there been a more urgent or comprehensive mandate.

Even the guardians and gatekeepers of the ruling class, from politicians to scientists, are forthcoming on this point. Listen to Al Gore: “I can’t understand why there aren’t rings of young people blocking bulldozers, and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants.” He said that in 2007. It is in this context that we must seek to better understand and analyze the People’s Climate March.

“An Invitation to Change Everything”

The People’s Climate March has a powerful slogan. It has world-class publicity. But the desire to bring the biggest possible number of people to the march has trumped all other considerations. The results are devastating:

No Target: The march is a U-turn through Times Square, beginning at a monument to genocide (Columbus Circle) and ending . . . in the middle of nowhere. Here in New York City where the ruling class of the whole world has made their diverse headquarters, the march will target none of them. The march will not even go near the United Nations, its ostensible symbolic target.

No Timing: The United Nations will convene leading figures from all over the world – several days after the march. The march does not coincide with anything, contemporary or historic.

No Demands: Again, to attract the largest number of people, the march has rallied around the lowest common denominator – in this case, nothing. Not only are there no demands, but there is in fact no content at all to the politics of the march, other than vague concern and nebulous urgency about “the climate,” which is itself undefined.

No Unity: While a large number of people are sure to converge on Columbus Circle on September 21, the only thing they will have in common is the same street. The revolutionary communists will link arms with the Green Zionist Alliance and the Democratic Party, and compete with Times Square billboards for the attention of tourists and the corporate media.What is the binding agent for this sudden and unprecedented unity? Fifty-one years later, the words of Malcolm X still ring true: “the white man’s money.”

No History: Instead of building on the momentum of a decades-old climate justice movement, this march appears to be taking us backwards. Here’s what Ricken Patel of Avaaz, one of the main funders of the march, said to The Guardian: “We in the movement, activists, have failed up until this point to put up a banner and say if you care about this, now is the time, here is the place, let’s come together, to show politicians the political power that is out there on there.”

It is as if the massive mobilizations outside the United Nations meeting in Copenhagen (2009), Cancun (2010) and Durban (2011) never took place, let alone the literally thousands of smaller, more localized actions and gatherings for climate justice. At all of these gatherings, activists convoked the world to demonstrate the power of the people, under banners which were far more radical and transformative than anything we have seen so far for this march.

No Integrity: The invitation to change everything has been permitted and approved by the New York City Police Department. This permit betrays a lack of respect for the people who will be making sacrifices to come all the way to New York City to change the world, and a lack of integrity among those who want to change everything, but seek permission for this change from one of the more obviously brutal guardians of business as usual. This lack of integrity sets up thousands of earnest souls for an onset of depression and cynicism when this march doesn’t change the world. This will in turn be fertile soil for everyone and anyone hawking false solutions.

No target, no demands, no timing, no unity, no history and no integrity amounts to one thing: No politics. The whole will be far less than the sum of its parts. The biggest climate march in history will amount to something less than Al Gore.

In discussions over the past month with a wide range of people – UN diplomats, radical Vermonters, unionists, professors, liberal Democrats, etc. – the same thing has been repeated to me by everyone: “If we get a huge number of people, no one will be able to ignore us.” “The mainstream media will be forced to cover it.”

So what is being billed and organized as The People’s Climate March, and An Invitation to Change Everything, turns out to be a massive photo op. The spectacle of thousands of First World citizens marching for climate justice, while they continue to generate the vast majority of carbon emissions, brings to mind the spectacle of George W. Bush visiting New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

So what are we left with? James Brown knew, when he said: “You’re like a dull knife; Just ain’t cutting. You’re just talking loud; And saying nothing. Just saying nothing. Good luck to you; Just allow you’re wrong. Then keep on singing that; Same old money song . . .”

So What Are We Going to Do About It?

This is not the place to complain, but to propose solutions. If we are unsatisfied with this march and its leadership, we have to provide an alternative. As James Brown knew, we “have to pay the cost to be the boss.” Here are some suggestions for starters:

We are going to stop lying to the people. This is the primary and cardinal rule of revolutionary politics. To invite people to change the world and corral them into cattle pens on a police-escorted parade through the heart of consumer society is astoundingly dishonest. From now on, we will stop lying to people. Climate justice requires nothing less than a global revolution in politics and production; it requires a historic transition to a new model of civilization, which will demand great sacrifice and creativity from everyone.
We are going to stop making demands of anyone or anything but ourselves and each other. The powers that be are deaf, dumb and deadly, and we will waste no further time trying to pressure or persuade them. We are going to stop speaking truth to power and start speaking truth to powerlessness. Either we are going to become the leaders we have been waiting for, starting now, or we are going to resign ourselves to the inevitability of catastrophic climate change and the sixth mass extinction.
We are going to return to the source. This means three things: (A) Return to the common people from the delirious heights of symbolic protest politics, with dedication to concrete local work, to divorce food, water, shelter and energy systems from capital. (B) Return to the livelihood and wisdom of our ancestors, the indigenous peoples of every continent, who have lived for thousands of years in harmony with nature, and who still possess the knowledge and skills to restore balance. (C) Return to the sun – a second Copernican revolution and a heliocentric energy policy. Either we return to a subsistence perspective that has prevailed for the majority of human history, or all future development of productive forces must be based exclusively on solar energy.
We are going to get arrested! The only thing that we can do to meet the deadline for climate justice is to engage in a massive and permanent campaign to shut down the fossil fuel economy. But we have to do this strategically, not in the symbolic cuff-and-stuffs that are a perversion and prostitution of the noble ideals of civil disobedience and revolutionary nonviolence. So we are going to shut down coal plants; we are going to block ports, distribution centers and railway hubs where fossil fuels are transported; whatever it takes to keep the oil in the soil. We’re going to put our bodies between the soil and the sky.So let’s make sure that the call to “Flood Wall Street” on September 22 is the “angry riptide” it should be, and not “the gentle flood.”
We are going to join the rest of the human race. For 200 years too long, citizens of the United States have been parasites and predators on the rest of the world. To prevent climate catastrophe, we are going to leave our imperial hubris behind, and join with the revolutionary ecosocialist uprisings that are sweeping the global South.

Berlin: Aufruf zur gemeinsamen Teilnahme an der Klimademo am Sonntag, 21.9.2014

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Liebe Mitstreiter,
gemeinsam mit Tausenden von Demonstranten in New York, London, Paris und weiteren Städten auf allen Kontinenten wollen wir die Politiker, die am Klimagipfel 2 Tage später teilnehmen, an ihre Verantwortung für diese Welt erinnern! Die Filmaufnahmen dieser Demos werden auf der Konferenz gezeigt werden.

TREFFPUNKTE am 21.9. um 14:30 Uhr
14 Uhr – Alexanderplatz – Fußgänger Demo mit Silent Climate Parade.
14.30 Uhr – Mariannenplatz Kreuzberg – Fahrrad-Demo
16.30 Uhr – Potsdamer Platz/Ebertstraße (Vor ‘Vapiano’) – Kinder- und Familiendemo

All drei Demozüge führen zum MAL SCHNELL DIE WELT RETTEN am Brandenburger Tor.

In Richtung Straße des 17. Juni wird es eine eine Schnippeldisko-Vokü geben, Upcycling-Events und Workshops sowie Infos und Diskussionen mit Umwelt- und Klimagruppen.

Wir sammeln uns an den angegebenen Treffpunkten. Abmarsch Richtung Brandenburger Tor – Ankunft Brandenburger Tor: ca 17 Uhr. Dort beginnt dann eine große Kundgebung mit vielfältigem Programm bis in die späten Abendstunden. Wir sollten dort noch eine Weile beieinander bleiben. Zwischen 17:30 und 18:00 Uhr werden Luftballons auf den Weg nach New York geschickt.

Die Demos sind als Silent Climate Parade konzipiert: das heißt für die Fußgänger TANZEND zum Brandenburger Tor zu ziehen. Die Musik dazu kommt über Kopfhörer, die man sich individuell am Neptunbrunnen bei den Hauptveranstaltern ausleihen kann (Ausgabe ab 13 Uhr, Personalausweis dabei haben!). Abgabe der Kopfhörer ab 17 Uhr am Brandenburger Tor.

Weitere Informationen:
Alle Aktionen auf dieser Demo sind umweltfreundlich, Musik wird über Kopfhörer gehört, auch die Luftballons, die zwischen 17.30 Uhr und 18.00 Uhr am Brandenburger Tor auf den Weg nach New York geschickt werden, sind biologisch abbaubar.

Bitte auch Information in Englisch lesen: Like a Dull Knife: The People’s Climate “Farce” (Quincy Saul, Truthout)Klick hier

Río+20: Todas las instancias internacionales vinculadas a los derechos de los pueblos indígenas deben pronunciarse

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Comunicaciones CAOI

Fortalecimiento de la cultura, ejercicio pleno de derechos, autodeterminación y respeto a nuestros territorios, son componentes vitales del desarrollo sostenible.

Nueva York, marzo 26.- El derecho a la autodeterminación, que se materializa en la gestión social, política, económica, ambiental y cultural de nuestros territorios, debe estar incorporado en todos los programas del desarrollo sostenible, como un aporte de los pueblos indígenas para alcanzar el Buen Vivir/Vivir Bien. Este es uno de los puntos centrales del documento alcanzado hoy al Grupo Mayor de los Pueblos Indígenas y organizaciones de la sociedad civil que participan en la Primera Ronda de Negociaciones del Borrador Cero.

Al explicar el contenido del documento, entregado por las organizaciones indígenas presentes en la ronda de negociación, Miguel Palacín Quispe, Coordinador General de la Coordinadora Andina de Organizaciones Indígenas (CAOI), insistió en la necesidad de que el movimiento indígena, a través de sus espacios de participación en las instancias internacionales, se pronuncie acerca del Borrador Cero de El futuro que deseamos, documento que será aprobado por los Estados en la Conferencia Mundial de Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo Río+20, que se reunirá en junio próximo.

“El Foro Permanente para las Cuestiones Indígenas de las Naciones Unidas, el Relator Especial de la ONU, el Consejo Consultivo de los Pueblos Indígenas en la Comunidad Andina, entre otros, deben pronunciarse para que nuestros derechos sean parte integral de todos los acuerdos que se adopten en Río+20”, subrayó Miguel Palacín.

Recordó que en las conferencias internacionales solo los Estados dialogan y llegan a acuerdos, bajo la presión de los países industrializados, para aprobar finalmente textos generales que eluden temas vitales como los derechos humanos y colectivos, la conservación de la biodiversidad, la garantía de los territorios indígenas, la prohibición de actividades extractivas en cabeceras de cuenca, glaciares y zonas vulnerables, entre otros.

Advirtió, incluso, que los países industrializados están presionando para que el Derecho Humano al Agua, reconocido por la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas, sea excluido del Borrador Cero.

Contribuciones indígenas

El documento entregado hoy se titula Las contribuciones de los pueblos indígenas al desarrollo sostenible: caminando hacia el futuro siguiendo las huellas de nuestros antepasados. Contiene tres puntos esenciales: el fortalecimiento de la cultura como el cuarto pilar del desarrollo sostenible, el ejercicio pleno de nuestros derechos humanos y colectivos, y el fortalecimiento de diversas economías locales y la ordenación territorial.

En el primer punto destaca que la diversidad de la naturaleza está íntimamente vinculada a la diversidad cultural y que las políticas tradicionales de los pueblos indígenas, consagradas en el Buen Vivir, son un ejemplo de la vida en equilibrio con la Madre Tierra. En el segundo, enfatiza que el desarrollo humano sostenible significa la incorporación de la perspectiva de los derechos humanos y colectivos en la elaboración, diseño y discusión y aprobación de todos los programas, planes y proyectos en materia de desarrollo sostenible en todos los niveles. En el tercer punto, señala que la solidaridad comunitaria es un componente vital de la resilencia de los ecosistemas.

“Vamos a seguir defendiendo nuestras economías, nuestros derechos a las tierras, territorios y bienes naturales, la gestión comunitaria y la biodiversidad, contra las actividades extractivas, las inversiones depredadoras, el acaparamiento de tierras y el desarrollo insostenible”, afirma el documento, que concluye demandando a los gobiernos “respetar y apoyar nuestros esfuerzos”.


Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

CLICK here to download pdf:
“False Solutions to Climate Change”
“Falsas Soluciones al Cambio Climatico”

Indigenous Peoples’ Decade Long Struggle Against The Carbon Market

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

The following chart is a summary record of the decade long official opposition against the Carbon Market of the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change IIPFCC. IIPFCC is the Caucus of Indigenous representatives from all regions of the world in the UN Climate Change negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol.


Indigenous Caucus Make First Statement on the Opening Day of the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 14th Session of Conference of the Parties (COP14)

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Statement of the

International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change (IIPFCC) to the 29th Session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA), during the 14th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP14) of the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

December 1, 2008 


The International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC), representing IPs from different parts of the world met from 27–29 November 2008 here in Poznan, Poland, to prepare for the Fourteenth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC.

We, the Indigenous Peoples have suffered the worst impacts of climate change without having contributed to its creation.

We must not be placed in the position of suffering from mitigation strategies which we believe have offered false solutions to the problem at hand. And even worse, many of the mitigation and adaptation schemes being discussed in UNFCCC and related processes threaten our rights and our very existence.

Mitigation projects, including REDD and CDM, implemented by Parties and private sector are carried out without the free prior and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples there by affecting our livelihoods and violating our human rights.

These projects are encroaching on areas of lands sacred to us, and producing the forced eviction of many of our brothers and sisters from their ancestral territories. 

Furthermore, proposed ‘scientific’ mitigation and adaptation solutions, methodologies and technologies being discussed here and elsewhere do not reflect Indigenous Peoples’ cosmovision and our ancestral knowledge.

So-called ‘consultations’ with us, often only take the form of simply informing our communities. Consultations should not be limited to specific communities and organizations but should involve all affected and involved indigenous peoples, including our representative organizations.

We the Indigenous Peoples demand full participation in the implementation of all areas of work concerning Climate Change and Forests.

We put the following recommendations forward:

·         To ensure a rights-based approach in the design and implementation of climate change policies, programmes and projects. In particular, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples must be recognized, implemented and mainstreamed in all of the Convention activities;

·         To ensure the right to Free Prior and Informed Consent in line with internationally recognized standards of good governance;

·         To develop methodologies and tools for impacts and vulnerability assessments  in consultation with indigenous peoples;

·         To recognize and use traditional knowledge and integrating it with scientific knowledge in assessing impacts and coming up with adaptations;

·         To ensure the proper capacity building of indigenous peoples in technologies for adaptation;

·         To immediately  suspend  all REDD initiatives in Indigenous territories until Indigenous Peoples’ rights are fully recognized and promoted;

·         To include  indigenous peoples’ experts in the implementation of phase II of Nairobi Programme of Work;

·         To set up a disaster reduction strategies and means to address loss and damage associated with climate change mitigation projects and policies, impacts in indigenous peoples territories;

 Thank you.

Note: The International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change (IIPFCC) is the Indigenous Peoples Caucus convened during the UNFCCC COP14. The Caucus represents Indigenous participants from the North and South.