Resisting the War on Mother Earth, Reclaiming Our Home

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The workshops around this theme aim to be an exploratory, reflective, and self-critical space where participants can draw on their wide range of experience in different parts of the world, and critically and collectively explore the subject. The goals are:

  • to share experiences and understandings and to deepen our individual and collective understandings of the emerging situation, and especially of the War on Mother Earth,
  • to emerge better prepared for regional and global coordination across different projects by learning more about each other's work,
  • to leave Cape Town with concrete next steps for how we will continue to strengthen our resistance to the War on Mother Earth, work proactively to reclaim our home, and develop functional alternatives (in and from our respective home locations and also collectively, worldwide).

The workshops will be strongly participatory, where all participants will help articulate both the key questions and also some answers. We will root our conversations in work that is currently happening as well as discuss possible new initiatives and visions. Please download the document 'RWME Full Theme Note' below for more information on our understanding of the situation we face and the tasks for our movements.

In this theme group, we will share, develop, coordinate, and nourish work around the world for climate justice and a world without war. What is politely called ‘climate change’ – and what is causing climate change - is in fact war on large sections of humanity by a small minority of exploiters from within our own species, and also an unprecedented war on Mother Earth. From the intensification of militarised resource wars, to catastrophic weather and climate refugees, we already have countless examples, which we will share to root our discussions in concrete reality.

Together, we will work to:

  • discern what has to be done in order to build a mass understanding of climate change as war – war both on vulnerable peoples and on Mother Earth,

  • comprehend the consequences of this new war, and the transition that is already underway,

  • delineate what we must do to counteract it, looking to the leadership of peoples who are closest to the front lines of this war,

  • put forward strategic plans that can address this emerging future, and build the alliances and networks which provide those plans with roots and wings.

Towards a shared understanding of resisting the war on mother earth

We must forge a new system that restores harmony with nature and among humans, and in order for there to be balance with nature, there must first be equity among humans. To face climate change, we must reorient civilization to the principles established in the ‘People’s Agreement of Cochabamba : Statement from the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth',(http://pwccc.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/peoples-agreement/).

We must also engage with the relationship between ecology and economy. We will look to examples like the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth (http://pwccc.wordpress.com/programa/) to provide a compass for our action plans.

In this theme group, we will work on building a path that can address the specific threats and opportunities of the interlocked crises we face. How do we:

  • Take actions and live our lives in ways that protect the climate?

  • Restructure social, economic, and political institutions to meet the changing circumstances?

  • Build new institutions, to meet the changing circumstances?

  • Take the responsibility of being constantly engaged with social and political institutions?

  • Support indigenous peoples' struggles for self-determination?

  • Reclaim cooperative control over natural resources including land and water?

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To address these questions, we need first to recognise and accept that we come from different worlds, and so we need to develop and to practice a culture of transcommunal respect. We need to listen to each other, and especially to the voices of indigenous peoples, who have been calling for some decades now for a different understanding of our world, of ourselves, and of our relationships with the world.

We work in the living legacies of grassroots movements around the world against extraction, mining, destruction by dams and nuclear power plants, and struggles for land, dignity, and survival. These endeavors offer a range of visions and strategies. In this theme group, we will explore what lessons and challenges we must take up from these struggles in order to nourish powerful, interconnected movements. We will also explore what new understandings and actions are necessary, and critically examine proposals for new action or expansion of existing activities. Relevant reading on such proposals include:

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