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How to become a climate hero

I'll let you know once I've figured it out

How to become a climate hero?

Lately I’ve been writing quite a few blogs about what I’m doing to become a climate hero but they were pretty much all over the place. So now I’ve made this page where I’ve posted all of them. I hope you enjoy reading them.

Oh yeah, I’ll let you know once I’ve figured it out.

Featured post

Why Ben van Beurden (Shell CEO) was left humbled by Hurricane Harvey

GettyImages-SHELL-HOUSTON
Shell gas station in Houston (Getty Images)

During hurricane Harvey Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden wrote a compassionate post on his LinkedIn profile about the resilience of his company and its employees. 

I, and many of my climate buddies, couldn’t help noticing the disturbing absence of any mention of man made climate change. So I couldn’t help myself and had to react. Feel free to do the same. 😉

Thanks for your compassionate post. On a human level you hit all the right notes and sound sincere. I do not doubt that you do care about your employees. After all, they are what makes your company.

But at the same time you might have noticed that your post caused quite a stir. This, in my opinion is due to the complete absence of you mentioning, man made climate change, and owing up to your companies contribution to said climate change. Hurricanes have been a recurring thing in the area but due to climate change hurricanes will become stonger with heavier rains.

Your company is among the 90 companies that produced two thirds of global warming emissions. “Between them, the 90 companies on the list of top emitters produced 63% of the cumulative global emissions of industrial carbon dioxide and methane between 1751 to 2010, amounting to about 914 gigatonne CO2 emissions, according to the research. All but seven of the 90 were energy companies producing oil, gas and coal. The remaining seven were cement manufacturers.

The list of 90 companies included 50 investor-owned firms – mainly oil companies with widely recognised names such as Chevron, Exxon, BP , and Royal Dutch Shell and coal producers such as British Coal Corp, Peabody Energy and BHP Billiton.”

Full article in the Guardian.

So dodging responsibility is not an option. You have been investing in a green image over the last couple of years and trying to get kids onboard with that image. (seeing that they are the influencers of the future) Prime example in the Netherlands: Generation Discover. If you look up greenwashing in the dictionary there will be a picture of Generation Discover right next to it. Because that is what it is. As long as not even 1% of your annual budget is spend on renewables (read: pr) you are nowhere near to a credible voice.

As for people saying we shouldn’t talk about the root cause of this crisis I’d say: if not now, when? And let Naomi Klein do the rest of the talking on that. “It’s also a hard truth that the window for having these debates is vanishingly small. We won’t be having any kind of public policy debate after this emergency subsides; the media will be back to obsessively covering Trump’s tweets and other palace intrigues. So while it may feel unseemly to be talking about root causes while people are still trapped in their homes, this is realistically the only time there is any sustained media interest whatsoever in talking about climate change. ”

Full article in The Intercept.  

And for these people saying, but you contribute to climate change as well, I, as I always do, refer to this article in The Stranger with the great headline: Yes, We Protest Shell Oil with Products Made from Oil. Duh. Now Join Us.

“We all get that we’re part of the fossil-fuel economy. No one’s trying to be sanctimonious about it. We’re not going to make the transition overnight. We don’t need to blame ourselves for living our lives. We don’t need to forsake all fossil-fuel usage tomorrow. We need to put one foot in front of the other toward a clean energy future. This is an echo of the fossil-fuel industry’s attempts to get everyone to blame themselves… That’s exactly the fossil-fuel industry’s game—to make us internalize that weak point of view..”

Full article in The Stranger.

To not let Shell get away with greenwashing and influencing schoolkids we (people from The Dutch Climate movement) are organising a march on the 30 of September in The Hague: Ontmasker Shell Klimaatmars 

Feel free to join us and make your voice heard!

We are not drowning. We are fighting!

A while ago I went to see this new documentary by Josh Fox (Gasland): How to let go of the world and love all the things climate can’t change. A deeply personal story looking into the causes and effects of climate change. Realizing it may be too late to stop some of the worst consequences it goes on to investigate what makes us continue regardless of the bleak future we are facing.

The story that touched me most was that of the Pacific Climate Warriors. It was about hope, resilience, dignity and not giving up in the face of overwhelming odds. How they faced off with giant oil tankers in the port of Newcastle with their, in comparison, tiny canoes must be an inspiration for all of us.

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Pacific Climate Warriors from Tokelau

Their message, “We  are not drowning. We are fighting.”, resonated deeply with me. It brought me back to a cold December day in Paris last year in front of the Notre Dame. But to tell the complete story I will have to go back even further.

On the 9th of November Jenni Laiti, an indigenous, Sámi artivist, mother, companion, traditionalist, protector, visionary and human being, started the relay race Run for your Life from the Sápmi town of Kiruna in the Arctic region. For some 3 weeks people were running relay style until they reached Paris on the 30th of November.

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Jenni Laiti with the relay stone

Like so many of you I was in Paris during the COP 21. Having helped out during the RFYL leg in the Netherlands (I didn’t run, don’t worry. Just rode around on a transport bike with a film crew) I had decided to join the closing ceremony of the event in front of Notre Dame. Barely a month after the Paris attacks the atmosphere was tense to say the least.

Even though officially we weren’t allowed to gather in large groups there was quite a crowd. What followed was a beautiful ceremony where a stone that had been carried from Kiruna to Paris passed around a circle. “Take a stone in your hand and close your fist around it until it starts to beat, live, speak and move.”

The circle started with Saami people from the Sápmi region and ended with Polynesian from the Pacific. The symbolism did not go unnoticed. For the snow melting in the North is the sea level rising in the South. We need to realize that everything is connected and this ceremony connected the dots for me.

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Closing ceremony for Run for your life in front of Notre Dame Photo: Jan Willem Brouwer

The struggle of Indigenous people, more often than not involuntarily on the frontline of the battle against climate change, has become more and more visible. At the moment we are seeing this play out on the plains of North Dakota at Standing Rock where many tribes from across the world have gathered to oppose the Dakota Access Pipe Line.

Now, more than ever after Trump’s election, we have to stand with them and follow their example. Their connection to the land and innate sense of how to live with, instead of separate from, Mother Earth should be an example for a society that largely has lost this connection but is still dependent on it.

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Water is Life – Mni Wiconi
Standing Rock

“Hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act. When you recognize uncertainty, you recognize that you may be able to influence the outcomes — you alone or you in concert with a few dozen or several million others. Hope is an embrace of the unknown and the unknowable, an alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists. Optimists think it will all be fine without our involvement; pessimists take the opposite position; both excuse themselves from acting. It’s the belief that what we do matters even though how and when it may matter, who and what it may impact, are not things we can know beforehand. We may not, in fact, know them afterward either, but they matter all the same, and history is full of people whose influence was most powerful after they were gone.”

“It’s important to emphasize that hope is only a beginning; it’s not a substitute for action, only a basis for it.”

I do not pretend to have all the answers or custom made solutions to the challenges we are facing. I often struggle with the role I play in this. I think I might have found it in writing about it. By writing about it I want to show that it is okay to have doubts, be afraid of what the future will bring and be insecure. But first and foremost that you are not alone. There are many more like us that are fighting. And that gives me hope. And hope gives me the strength to continue. Together.

De mensen van de Klimaatbeweging

Wie zijn die mensen die samen de Nederlandse Klimaatbeweging maken? Wat drijft ze? Wat hebben ze aan de trainingsweekenden gehad?

Vragen die ik gesteld heb en waaruit deze serie portretten is ontstaan.

Enjoy!

Florian

florian

Chihiro

chihiro

Charles

charles

Mirjam

mirjam

Guus

guus

  Iris

iris

Ronnie

ronnie

Schobsi

schobsi

Rolf

rolf

Anneke

anneke

Bruno

bruno

Corine

corine

Egbert

egbert

Kari

kari

Niels

niels

Kerewin

kerewin

Rick

rick

Nichol

Green Finger Coal Loadingstation

Vatan

vatan-overhandiging

Lawrence

lawrence

Anne

anne

People have the power

Ik denk dat we het ons allemaal weleens hebben afgevraagd: wat kan ik nu in mijn ééntje doen in de strijd tegen onomkeerbare klimaatverandering? Ik heb datzelfde maar ik ben er ondertussen van overtuigd dat je alleen of met een klein groepje mensen heel veel kan doen.

Hoe kom ik daar dan bij? Nou, afgelopen donderdag heb ik weer eens het bewijs gezien tijdens de Haagse Fietsparade voor het Klimaat. Het idee van één persoon, geholpen door een klein groepje, groeide in iets meer dan een maand uit tot een manifestatie van zo’n 150-200 mensen.

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Voor het Vredespaleis Foto: Laura Ponchel

 

Wat nou als we eens een fietstocht organiseren aan het begin van het lokale politieke jaar waarin we duidelijk maken dat het tempo waarin maatregelen worden genomen om onomkeerbare klimaatverandering tegen gaan te laag is, was de gedachte die voor het eerst naar voren kwam tijdens een borrel van Duurzaam Den Haag. En laten we proberen om zoveel mogelijk Haagse organisaties en individuen die zich op wat voor manier dan ook inzetten voor het klimaat bij elkaar te krijgen om samen met één stem aan de gemeente te vragen om een tandje erbij voor het klimaat.

Maar hoe en met wie gaan we dat dan voor elkaar krijgen? Het idee, het zaadje, werd geplant tijdens de vergadering van Fossielvrij Den Haag in de hoofden van een klein groepje divestment campaigners. Een bont gezelschap van mensen met een IT-er, een werkzoekende, een fietsfanaat, iemand die een climate-sabbatical heeft genomen, een medewerker van een NGO, een onderwijzeres en een logistiek medewerker ging aan de slag. Niet echt the usual suspects.

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Het Den Haag Fossielvrij-team Foto: Laura Ponchel

Maar we brachten allemaal onze eigen talenten mee en stopten de tijd erin die we konden missen. Steeds meer organisaties melden zich aan. Uiteindelijk zo’n veertig steunden ons initiatief. Zo’n 150-200 mensen melden zich aan. De wethouder duurzaamheid zei toe dat hij aan het slot aanwezig zou zijn. Kortom, alles kwam bij elkaar.

Was het veel werk? Ja. Zaten we soms in de stress of het allemaal zou lukken? Ja. Maar dat hield ons niet tegen. Wat hebben we dan bereikt? Dat de lokale politici weten dat een brede groep burgers en organisaties vragen om de ingrijpende maatregelen die nodig zijn om onomkeerbare klimaatverandering tegen te gaan op korte termijn genomen worden.

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Foto: Laura Ponchel

Om maar eens een beroemde quote van Margaret Mead aan te halen: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

 

Check hier voor foto’s en uitgebreid verslag.

 

Wil je op de hoogte blijven van wat er in Den Haag speelt en hoe we elkaar kunnen helpen? Check dan de FB pagina van de Haagse Klimaatbeweging.

 

Wil je ook weten hoe we binnen de Nederlandse Klimaatbeweging elkaar kunnen versterken? Kom dan vooral naar het vierde klimaatweekend van de Nederlandse Klimaatbeweging van 14-16 oktober. Geen FB? Check hier.

Foto’s door Laura Ponchel Photography

Sacrifice zones

Demo_aus_Immerath_2016_08_27 _ Frontbanner der Demonstration
Demo at Immerath

I’m not a big fan of pictures of myself. To prove why see the picture that was taken from me during the demo that I was in at Immerath this weekend. I don’t know what happened but if I didn’t know better I would say I look constipated. For many people at the Klimacamp it was quite the opposite. Unfortunately there was a stomach virus going around which caused the shit to hit the fan. I’ll spare you the gory details but let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.

For the people still living in the villages surrounding the Lignite mines in the area this is a daily reality. Although for them it is proverbial, not literal, shit hitting the fan. The demo we had went straight through the village of Immerath, a ghost town. I think there were only three families still living there. And after they had dug up the cemetery probably even the ghosts had left.

These people are living right in the middle of one of Europe’s sacrifice zones. Their lives and the place they live deemed worth less than the lignite being excavated. At the same time destroying the landscape and being the biggest source of CO2 emissions in Europe.

Bellenblazen
Blowing bubbles

For us it was easy. We could just come and go when we had enough. A little discomfort with the virus is all we had to endure. For the people living there it is not that easy. The only options they have is sticking it out, hoping that RWE comes to their senses, go bankrupt and stops digging or being re-located to a different village and leaving everything that they love about where they live behind. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place.

But even if they are in a rather crappy situation I’ve found that they got some hope from us being there. It showed them that we know their struggles and that they are still there. That there are people that do care and show solidarity with them. Unfortunately there are no easy solutons to the situation they are facing but we can make sure they are not being forgotten.

Back home in the Netherlands we have our own sacrifice zone in the Northern province of Groningen. Since the early sixties we have been extracting gas after the discovery of a large gasfield at Slochteren. Since 1986 this has been causing earthquakes which have damaged a lot of houses and disrupted the lives of people living there.

People feel that their safety is being sacrificed for the short-term monetary gain. The last couple of years decisions were made to scale down the production but it is not enough. In order to gaurantee the safety of the people in Groningen and meet our emission reductions targets we need to completely stop gas extraction.

To empower the people in Groningen and show solidarity with them Fossielvrij.NL is organising a training weekend from 23-25 September in Assen which coincides with a big action at the HQ of the NAM ( Shell / Exxon). You are all invited to show the people of Groningen that they are not being forgotten. See you there!

Groningen

Pictures: Klimacamp im Rheinland Flickr

 

Why ‘no’ isn’t in my vocabulary anymore

Why didn’t I go to the Fossil Free Europe Gathering last year when it was held in The Netherlands? Man, this seems to be a recurring theme with me. I should have gone to Ende Gelaende 2015. I should have gone to that Fossil Free weekend. I should have participated in that direct action against the coal port in Amsterdam.

But yeah, no use crying over spilled milk. This year I saw that it was being held in Brussels, just a couple of hours away by train, so I definitely was going. Or at least, I definitely wanted to go. Seeing that there was only limited space, a bit over 60 people, and Europe has a lot of Fossil Free campaigns and campaigners, there was a selection procedure. I had to sell myself. Not my strongest part.

FF weekendCredit: Saku Mäki

But okay, here goes nothing. After I had mailed my pitch I had to keep my fingers crossed for quite some time. My fingers are still hurting. I’ve been rather active this year for Fossielvrij.nl but you can’t take anything for granted, right? But in the end I got the nod and was going. Whoohoo. Great! There were actually quite a few people going from The Netherlands. We had the largest group but seeing that we are all rather modest people that shouldn’t be a problem. We’d mingle and blend right in.

The weekend itself was great! What we did was pretty much look at past, present and future of our movement. I won’t bore you with the trivial stuff but I think I can say that we’ve been rather successful lately. Whether it has been on getting cities (pledge) to divest (Münster, San Francisco, Melbourne, Berlin and Stuttgart amongst others), getting big pension funds to change their policies on investments (ABP) or just kick-ass direct actions (Ende Gelaende, Art not oil), we have caused quite a stir.

FF weekend 4Credit: Saku Mäki

And we’ve changed from being a fly in the ointment for the fossil fuel industry to a force to be reckoned with. If there was ever proof necessary that a small group of dedicated people can get things to change than I think we are a good example of just that.

So what is it that motivates us? For me personally it is a sense of urgency. Over the course of the years we’ve all seen the news reports with regards to climate change get worse and worse. That gives us a couple of choices. Deny the science and go on living like there is no tomorrow (pun intended). Acknowledge that it is a problem but think that this is bigger than anything you can do to solve it. Or you can try to fight it and stop runaway climate change. I think pretty much all of us fall into that last category.

And to accomplish that we use divestment. It is not the goal but a tactic. And a tactic that seems to work. But the bigger goal for me, and I hope for all of us, is to build a global movement to fight runaway climate change. If this weekend did anything for me it is to get my motivation and focus onto a higher level. Even though we are all just a small part of this whole movement we are all equally important and we all do what we can.

FF weekend 3Credit: Saku Mäki

I do believe we are winning. That more and more people see that there is no sound moral and financial argument for extracting all fossil fuels. Thinking that infinite growth is possible on a finite planet just doesn’t make any sense. And if we all do what lies within our possibilities and keep on pushing I’m sure we will stop this madness.

So if you want to be like me and not miss out on anything stay informed through www.gofossilfree.org and the Facebook pages of all the different groups. For the next events in The Netherlands please check out Liset’s list of upcoming events. Because even though a small group of people can change a lot we need everyone to change everything. Hope to see all of you there!

FF EU GatheringCredit: Olov Källgarn

From treehugger to trespasser: Ende Gelände 2016

I really should have been there. That was all I could think about after last year’s Ende Gelände. Seeing all the videos, pictures and hearing personal stories from my friends really made me feel I missed out on something. So this year I would be there. Not a doubt in my mind.

I wanted to have the full EG experience so I made sure that I was on the first bus to arrive. Meeting old friends, new friends, form affinity groups, find a wonderful buddy, helping out with making overalls and masks, hearing rumours about secret missions but all in all being pretty much in the dark about what was going down were pretty much what the first days at the Lauzitz Klima Camp consisted of.

People before coal

But I wanted to do more. An action like this is nothing without stories and images, personal accounts. If people don’t know why we are doing this and that we are ordinary people that feel that they have to do this, why would they even consider doing it themselves? So when the opportunity came to be one of the people in the big action group with a smartphone to take live action pictures I jumped at it.

On Friday afternoon it went down. We were going into the mine to one of the huge diggers which I had seen before on our tour around it. Adrenalin got flowin’, we were pumped up, ready to go. We left the camp with people applauding us. Wow, this is great. They support us. On roads, through forests & fields, splitting up into a red and blue group and as we walked through the forest all of a sudden there it was. The mine.

Group

I had seen video’s of last year with pepper-spraying, baton-wielding cops and I knew that was possible this year as well. So I was a bit nervous. But none of it all. We had one police van driving behind us saying that we had to stop. Fat chance mate. We are unstoppable, another world is possible.

So there we were, on the edge of the mine, and we could just walk straight into it. This wasn’t what I had expected. A walk in the park, albeit a very dusty park. After a while we reached a digger which we could occupy quite easily. We climbed on top of it, put our banners up, made a great deal of pictures, welcomed the dixies that were there and some even played a game of soccer.

Digger

That was great but was it all just symbolic? Would they just let us get on with our stuff and resume business as usual? I didn’t know. I did hear that another finger had occupied a digger on the lowest level and they were in there for the long haul and that I had made quite a few pictures that were tweeted so we must have some impact. Just too bad Vattenfall didn’t have some proper WIFI set up and we lost all connection when we arrived at the digger.

After a while we decided to move on to the green finger which was occupying the filling station where the trains were loaded with coal for the powerplant. The digger we occupied was about halfway down the mine so we still had quite a walk. Forty days in the desert got nothing on us!

Filling station

Reaching the filling station I was amazed at how much coal dust there was. Did any of it actually get on the trains? Meeting my friends, they told me that they had not met any resistance getting there and that the worst they had had to deal with was the dust and after we arrived quite a heavy rainshower. But they were there to stay. Little did they know for how long.

Exhausted a small part of my action group decided to go back to the camp and that’s when we actually saw the first signs of police. People were trying to take much needed food to the green action group but police were trying to block them. Running through pepperspray these brave people actually managed to get behind the cobble stone blockade to deliver the food. It definitely got my adrenalin pumping again.

cubes

I had mixed emotions though. Would what we did be enough? Would word of this go beyond the usual group of activists? The next morning we woke up early. Had a quick meeting, formed a new group and went on a mission. One of us had an action camera and we would shoot some footage and return to the camp to edit the video.

Well, best laid plans and all… It turned out we stayed there for a bit longer. We ended up on the rails where the coal trains are unloaded at the power plant. A really strategic position. Some of us went on a recon mission and found a coal train on the tracks around the corner. If we could stop this train we might take our action beyond symbolism and have a real, tangible impact. Exciting stuff.

Bridge

It was said that the plant only had a limited supply of Lignite in storage to keep it running full blast. So if we stayed long enough… We might be able to shut it down. But we hadn’t really prepared for this. Thanks to a great tip from one of my Greenpeace buddies I had a pre-paid action phone on me so I could reach someone in the camp to grab our sleeping bags. Life saver. Hero. You know who you are. We can’t thank you enough.

So there I was. With a group of friends, sleeping on the railwaytracks, which aren’t made for that purpose. Who would have thought that I, a part-time activist with a 9-to-5 job, would ever feel the urge to do this. Normally I dress up as a tree, a bee or a polar bear. But I really feel that we need to do this, shut down the fossil-fuel industry, if we want a chance at a decent future.

Sleeping

We made it through the night, using each others body heat. Snug as a bug in a rug. Leaves underneath us, wearing all clothes, good sleeping bags and a lot of humor. Just don’t move too much when you’re the humus in between the sandwich. Or coordinate with your friends in the sandwich that you all move together.

In the mean time the plant had to scale down. Only one of the cooling towers still produced clouds but way less than it normally does. They were running out of coal! We f***ing did it! “Who shuts shit down? We shut shit down!” We had proven that a relatively small group of determined people could achieve things that they themselves hadn’t thought possible.

Orkest

We stayed on for a bit in the blockade. An orchestra / choir showed up and even though we were really tired we enjoyed ourselves. In the end it was decided we would leave as a group to join the orange group at the other blockade on the railbridge. Fastest way to get there would be to walk down the tracks past the power plant. But Team Blue didn’t agree with that and wanted to play a little game of tag instead.

I guess they won. They surrounded us and we all got arrested. We were over a hundred people without ID’s on them and cat face’s painted on their face. So when they processed us I guess they saw that it wasn’t going to work. When the first bus left we still thought we were going to the police station. But to our surprise the friendly neighbourhood copper dropped us of rather close to the camp and told us to go take a shower. Were we smelly?

arrest

We all received a heroes welcome at the camp and had a great party. We did it! I was elated! Through the joint effort of some 3500 people, some of them taking care of the camp, some occupying the filling station for 48 hrs, some sleeping on a digger at the bottom of the pit, some sleeping on the tracks, we closed down the Schwarze Pumpe, one of the most polluting, Lignite operated power plants in Europe. We couldn’t have done it without a single one of them!

What’s next? We definitely made the press back home. We were on the news and in quite a few newspapers! But there is still a lot of work to do. In the Netherlands we recently opened a couple of new coal powered plants, there are still old ones running, we are still depending on the gas from I with all the consequences for the people living there. I don’t know what we are going to do but it is sure that we are going to do something.

toren

We need to break free from our addiction to fossil fuels. We need to do it quick. We don’t have much time left. But I will be there. Together with thousands of people. Fighting for our last chance as we are the first generation that sees the effects of climate change and the last generation that can actually do something about it!

Next year when there will be the next Ende Gelände, if it is still necessary, I won’t have to say: I should have been there. But I can tell that I was there: Ende Gelände 2016. Part of a worldwide turning point in history, where we the people, said, enough is enough. Ende Gelände!

Love
Anne

If you want to stay up to date about what other Dutch people got up at Ende Gelände to check http://www.wijgaannaareg.nl every now and then.

I should have been there

PosterI should have been there.

That’s what kept running through my mind after last year’s Ende Gelände in Garzweiler. But I wasn’t. I was at home coordinating the social media forFossielvrij Nederland and saw all these amazing images of brave people trying to get into the pit and some succeeding. Later I read articles and heard stories from my friends which convinced me even more that I should have been there.

About how scared they were but went in regardless because the climate catastrophe we are heading for needs bigger and bolder actions. How people broke through police lines and broke a finger in the process. How someone got arrested as one of the first and had the most boring day of his life. How some got stopped at the edge of the mine and all of a sudden a donkey showed up. Weird story…

Digger-300x219

But let’s get back to my school days. I remember being told that the houses in East-Germany had this brown sooth on them because people used lignite for their stoves. But we moved beyond that. Or at least so I thought. Last year during the Kohlenkette around the Garzweiler mine I saw with my own two eyes that Lignite mining was still alive and kicking. It is running on it’s last legs but still.

It is up to us to tackle it and make sure we see a quick and just transition to renewable energy. So when this year the call out came for internationals to join the mobilization I jumped at the opportunity. With a group of 6 people from the Netherlands (and Norway) we went to Berlin to see how we could assist. Getting to know the people working on Ende Gelände and attending meetings.

What was needed were people willing and brave enough to put their body’s on the line and who were preferably already trained in direct action. So when we came back we started organizing three busses (we are in a bit of a friendly competition with Sweden about who will bring the most people there), making a training plan and all the other stuff that needs to be done. As luck would have it some of us were also involved in this weekend we had with the Dutch Climate Movement at the beginning of April.

The first training in direct action took place during that weekend. Around 25 people took part in it. So yeah, that’s a good start. We had fun, learned some history of direct action, learned tactics, broke through (fictional) police lines and some sustained minor injuries. Even though honesty forces me to say most of that happened during dancing at night, playing tag and looking at a smart phone and not paying attention to the pavement which more or less attacked and came too close, very rapidly.

Pit-policeline-300x219

So how do we move on from here with just a little over a month to go? Some of us have started with a fitness regime because they heard or remember that running in the sand is rather tiring. We had a benefit night to rake in the necessary money to get to Lausitz. We will also organize more direct action training days throughout the Netherlands.

 

But most of all, we are determined to go to Ende Gelände 2016 with as many people as possible. As for me, I will be there. I’ll probably be scared shitless but I feel this is something I’ve got to do. If we leave it to the politicians and companies in this world there will only be a short time vision focused on the bottom line regardless of future generations. As said before, it’s up to us. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

See you in the pit.

Anne

For more info check Wij gaan naar Ende Gelände NL

Reflection on the COP21

Mixed emotions. Should we be glad with the agreement reached in Le Bourget? The goals that were set are definitely not enough to keep us within the 1.5 degree global warming, but it is an huge improvement compared to what we had.

 

On Thursday I attended a beautiful closing ceremony of Run for your life at Notre Dame where Sami and Pacific Islanders told their story about their fight against climate change. The ice that is melting in Lapland is the sea level that is rising in the Pacific. Will this agreement be sufficient for frontline communities? Definitely not. Will these words on paper turn out to be hollow phrases? I’m afraid so. Does this mean our struggle is futile? Definitely not.

 

Seeing that over 15,000 were willing to go into the streets despite the state of emergency gave me hope. That I was there with so many of my friends was even better. I’m happy that I helped to arrange a Fossielvrij NL bus to Paris. Having this experience makes me even more determined to step my game up a notch.

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