This morning most of the Adopt A Negotiator team donned bright blue ‘tcktcktck’ t-shirts and joined with thousands of people from across Asia (indeed the world) to march through the streets of Bangkok to demand climate justice.
We began in a large park in the centre of Bangkok and then marched through the busy streets and tourist hot spot, Khao San Road.
The diversity of the crowd truly demonstrated the extent of climate impacts throughout the world, and the amazing ways that people are already responding to the challenge of climate change.
We marched in solidarity with members of the 350.org group from Nepal while they flew beautiful kites, we walked alongside fisher-folk from the Philippines, we chanted with famers from the North of Thailand who carried signs depicting the impact of increased rain on their crops, and we wheeled an hourglass with the world painted on it through the crowds.
The rally ended with musical performances and speeches right outside of the UN conference centre where the climate negotiations are taking place.
Later, when I was out of the sweltering heat and waiting in the café queue for an iced coffee, I chatted with a few of the European government delegates. They said that they had heard all of the noise, and seen the thousands of people rallying out the front of the conference centre.
I asked them why they hadn’t come out to join the rally? They laughed and said that they wished they could have had time out of their meetings to come and join in. So I asked if they couldn’t be there in person, would they join in spirit? Would take on board the message of the thousands of people calling on the negotiators to work towards a deal in Copenhagen that is based upon fundamental principles of climate justice?
To this they replied, “we are working hard in the negotiations to come up with a global agreement to address climate change.” This, I don’t doubt, they are all working very hard. But I don’t feel they answered my question, hard work doesn’t equate with really listening to the demands of the people.
We must continue our message of climate justice, so it flows from the streets and into the negotiations.
About the authorCara Bevington
I grew up in the spectacular Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, but now fulfil the great Australian stereotype of calling Bondi beach home. For the past two years I’ve worked as a campaigner for Oxfam Australia, and I absolutely love it!