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7 December 2010 | | |

Life and Climate Justice

March to demand climate justice and remember activist dead during WTO negotiations

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On Sunday morning, hundreds of people marched from La Via Campesina´s camp in Cancun to Plaza de la Reforma. The goal of the mobilization is “Life and Climate Justice” and to remember Lee Kyung Hae the activist that died during WTO negotiations.

Different Mexican and international organizations participated in the march, denouncing the market mechanisms pushed at the official negotiations on climate change. One of these organizations, Jobs with Justice , member of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance delegation, had banners reading REDD inside a Forbidden sign.

“We are here to oppose REDD and other market-based solutions to climate change. We think that the people most directly affected by climate change should be the ones that dictate the solutions. We need grassroots solutions that involve and include indigenous peoples, workers and community powers, and oppressed people around the world”, said Camilo Viveiros, Executive Director of the organization.

The demands of the demonstrators included the fulfillment of agreements established at the Peoples´ Conference held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, early this year.

“La Via Campesina has been following these conferences for years and now we have decided to promote the mobilizations in defense of Mother Earth, after Cochabama, where we agreed with President Evo Morales to strengthen the struggle for the rights of Mother Earth. So this is the aim of this demonstration, to defend Mother Earth, climate, small-scale agriculture and demand the rich countries to stop global warming since they are endangering human kind”, said the leader of the Honduran resistance and Coordinator of La Via Campesina Central America, Rafael Alegria, in an interview with Real World Radio.

Meanwhile, Isaac Rojas, Friends of the Earth International Forest and Biodiversity Program Coordinator said to Real World Radio that the environmentalist federation was participating in the march called by their main strategic ally, La Via Campesina. He also said that the aim was to remember the South Korean activist, Lee Kyung Hae, who sacrificed himself during the protests in Cancun against the negotiations of the WTO on September 10th, 2003.

“In that opportunity, the social movements prevented the Doha agenda from moving forward, and today, inside the UN Framework Convention there are discussions again about awful practices of the WTO, such as negotiating final texts in small groups –thus eliminating the multilateral nature of the UN and also democracy. This was denounced in Copenhagen and there were rumors that the same would happen in Cancun, which the Mexican Chair denied”, said Rojas, who also regretted that the COP was taken over by mercantilism, through, for instance, the promotion of carbon markets. This is why he pointed out that Friends of the Earth was present in the demonstration to promote real solutions to climate change, such as food sovereignty.

At the end of the march and in the place where the South Korean activist was going to be commemorated, Olegario Carrillo, leader of the National Union of Independent Regional Peasant Organizations (UNORCA) from Mexico, highlighted that the demands of the peasant movement included that the governments adopted the agreements held in Cochabamba, which implied a radical reduction of the emissions that cause climate change.

“We continue fighting, supported by law and reason, because we cannot allow the lack of responsibility by governments subordinated to imperialism, governments subject to the G8 that are killing life and killing the planet. All the members of La Via Campesina International, UNORCA and other organizations are here, where the UN ministers are meeting to negotiate. We are here to ask them to be responsible and to think about the people not about the profits and the interests of transnational corporations”, said the peasant leader.

Photo: Real World Radio

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