All Out to Humanize the Natural and Social Environment!
Week of Bold Mass Actions Reiterates the Peoples’ Demand for Climate Justice
CALENDAR: DAYS OF ACTION FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE
Activists converged on Glasgow, Scotland in connection with the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties Summit (COP26) taking place there October 31 to November 12. In the days leading up to the Summit and over the course of the first week, multiple mass actions have taken place throughout Glasgow and around the fenced-off proceedings, as well as online. Related events are being held worldwide.
The mass actions held in Glasgow on October 30 and 31 as COP26 opened ensured the peoples’ demands set the tone for judging the negotiations taking place inside the hallowed halls where the people have no say over what is decided. Meanwhile, the COP26 Coalition has been holding its own assemblies independent of the official UN proceedings, where people from around the world and their collectives can speak in their own name to express their concerns.
The actions give expression to the peoples’ demand for meaningful and just action on climate change, not lip service. They demand actions that take as their starting point the well-being and rights of all humanity, not the further exploitation of vulnerable peoples and countries through self-serving schemes which serve the narrow interests of the wealthy elite and supranational oligopolies.
Worldwide, a day of action was held on Friday, October 29, calling for a “Fossil Free Future,” in addition to the weekly Friday school climate strikes led by the youth.
The group Greenham Women Walk to COP26 walked from the Faslane naval base on the Gare Loch, Argyll and Bute, Scotland to Glasgow, from October 28 to 31. The walk highlighted the links between nuclear weapons, military action, and climate emergency. Participants demanded that there be no more exceptions for military pollution in any forthcoming COP26 agreement.
Likewise, an online event titled “Resource Exploitation, Violent Conflict and Militarism — Drivers of Climate Catastrophe” was organized on October 30 by Peace Education Scotland and the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Monday, November 1 saw a mass rally called by Fridays for Future, the global network of youth who have been holding weekly school climate strikes for more than three years.
To coincide with the Mexican Day of the Dead, on November 2, the Scottish anti-war group Dove Tales presented an online evening of poetry and music, looking at “climate change from the angle of war and the devastation it causes to our planet.”
On November 3, Extinction Rebellion held an action to oppose greenwashing, referring to actions taken by governments and corporations meant to provide a veneer of concern about environmental matters, to cover up that they are carrying on business as usual.
A highlight of actions on November 4 was the Peace March called by the Scottish Peace Network that highlighted the need to oppose aggression, war and the arms trade as an essential part of ending environmental destruction and dealing with climate change. The march included a stop at the local operations of arms manufacturer BAE Systems. In a similar vein, activists protested against an arms fair in Malvern, England. Also taking place that day was the COP26 Toxic Tour, drawing attention to “Scotland’s toxic past, present and future.”
Friday, November 5 saw a mass rally called by Fridays for Future Scotland, with tens of thousands taking part. The energetic and uplifting atmosphere boded well for a successful mass action in Glasgow on November 6, as the COP26 Climate Summit reaches it midpoint.