ECOSOCIALISM CONFERENCE 1ST & 2ND DECEMBER 2011 AT COP17

It was agreed on the Durban Climate Justice (DCJ) teleconference on 2 November that an ecosocialism conference would be planned for COP17, and that it would involve two components: understanding and debating ecosocialism, and an eco tribunal in which corporate violators of environmental and climate justice will be put on trial for their specific crimes against nature and humanity. It is therefore suggested here that Day 1 will be a conference directly focusing on ecosocialism and Day 2 host the tribunal.

 

The first day on ecosocialism should provide an opportunity for participants to understand the climate change and ecological crisis that the world faces, the solutions put forward to it, and to participate in understanding, proposing and constructing what we understand as ecosocialism. Discussion should therefore cover the topics of green economy and green capitalism, ecosocialism and strategies for achieving ecosocialism. To this end concepts of solidarity economy, and even food sovereignty, can be introduced. To ensure the participation of people in understanding and contributing to the meaning of ecosocialism and how we achieve it, we should end the day by breaking into commissions on these topics.

The day for the tribunal will be further researched and investigated in terms of how we go about conducting it, but the immediate task is to start identifying communities and their struggles against corporate ecological incursions that can make up the tribunal.

Suggested Programme

 

DAY 1 – Understanding and Debating Ecosocialism

 

  • What is the nature of crises we face? Understanding capitalism as the cause.
  • What is being done to try and get us out of the climate crisis? The politics of the climate negotiations and why they aren’t finding solutions, and Bolivia’s engagement in this regard: Pablo Salon.
  • The Rise of Green Neoliberalism/Capitalism: Vishwas Satgar
  • South Africa’s Green Neoliberal Policies: Jackie Cock
  • Theorising the ecosocialist alternative: Devan Pillay?
  • Ecosocialism in practice and thinking of ways out of the crisis: the role of labour and unions, community struggles etc. What does the struggle look like? What can we do now? Solidarity economy, food sovereignty, climate jobs etc
  • Break up into commissions to answer:

1)      Does green capitalism offer us a way out of the ecological and social crises we face? Why/why not?

2)      What do we understand by ecosocialism? Does this offer us a way out? Why/why not?

3)      What can we do now as communities and movements to begin addressing the climate crisis?

  • Report back and statement

DAY 2 – Ecojustice Tribunal

 

This day will involve a day of ‘court’ in which accused corporations will be hauled before a judge (and jury?) to be tried for their crimes of creating environmental/climate injustice against specific communities. The law by which they will be judged is the Rights of Mother earth document, which sets out the contents of a climate just regime that respects the Rights of Mother Earth.

We will need:

  • A panel of judges. We can try and get a number of ‘emminent’ but still grassroots activists to sit on this panel: We need suggestions for African activists, Latin American, and others. Thoughts on people like Vandana Shiva, Naomi Klein etc as well?
  • An indictment sheet can be given to people and communities with questions that they must answer in presenting their case to the tribunal:

1)      What has happened?

2)      What are the costs to the community?

3)      What has been the response of the perpetrating corporation and/or state?

4)      Which Rights of Nature have been transgressed and what redress are you seeking?

  • We can invite 10 communities from South Africa as well as others from outside of SA
  • We can run the tribunal over the morning, then break for lunchtime while panel deliberates. Then after lunch they deliver their sentences which opens up a workshop on putting forward a set of demands based on the tribunal. These demands to be put forward on Global Day of Action and other marches for climate justice
  • We require this to be documented i.e. videoed

By Andrew Bennie

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