I write this on my fourth evening in Paris. I have five more to go. So far I have seen the veritable spectrum of response to COP21 – the UN climate talks. I have seen the painfully stupid (climate change denying film premieres), I have seen the vehemently inspirational and powerful (Indigenous People’s actions, stories and strength) and I have seen the in between – the nuts and bolts of activism, the pit falls of planning meetings that somehow morph into discussions about yoga retreats and what is really meant by the word “activism.”
Throughout this spectrum, however, I have seen the obvious: that all these people came here to be a part of a movement. All these people came here to show up, to be a part of and to be counted in a mass mobilization for climate justice and real solutions to climate change. And that is fucking powerful.
My jet-lag induced dip towards depressive realism dictates that the meandering left has to get their shit together in order to lay out a clear and pointed counter-attack against the ills of capitalism, get on the same page or burn the book. But the optimistic realist still clawing through with timed sips of coffee maintains that there’s not one page to all be on – that our power comes in our diversity and our strength comes in our varied approaches. I don’t think I have yet made up my mind about this – perhaps I’m at an existential crossroads and perhaps after the next 5 nights, I will have an answer – we’ll see.
But again, what I can easily attest to, sitting here with my cliche glass of wine and croissant, is that here, there is power. There is kinetic as well as potential – there is tapped and untapped – but there is a fuck ton. Here is the only power that can flip the scales from profit over planet to planet over profit. Here is the only power that matters in our fight for climate justice: people power.
Below are some images from my time in Paris thus far.
Please feel free to spread and share – credit Eleanor Goldfield and Art Killing Apathy.
For my video updates from Paris, visit occupy.com/actout