Understanding that there is safety and power in numbers, I join this pledge to help bring together a critical mass of people, to take coordinated, peaceful and powerful acts of civil disobedience. We need an effective lever over a corporatised power system that is geared for destruction of life as we know it.
This pledge enables people to say “Yes, I'm prepared to take a concrete stance to protect life on earth, even if it means being arrested”. By building up a large number of people who are willing to take such a stance, regardless of past experience, we can strengthen our sense of collective will and could create a game-changing body of people willing to rise up (this approach has proved effective in the US).
We will share relevant actions from other groups (whether local, national or international focus). As this pledge grows we can also undertake our own actions.Disobedient, principled and persistent protests, aimed at the heart of the establishment, can powerfully shift the mainstream narrative (e.g.UK Uncut, Occupy). Everyone is invited to suggest actions and / or host pledges. Information on direct action is here.
For all of the reasons articulated in Naomi Klein’s book “This Changes Everything: Capitalism Against the Climate” we recognise that the current system is not willing to change, even when the fabric of life on earth is threatened. Change is only going to come when we rise up and demand change, by being willing to confront power and assert our collective will. We know solutions exist, but there is an institutional / locked-in unwillingness amongst corporate and political powers to make the urgent and systematic changes we need that would damage their profits and enhance equality. This pledge is in support of the movement of movements to protect life on earth and bring about social, environmental and economic justice for all, especially people who are living in poverty. And to bring about the better happier world we know is both possible and necessary.
We recognise the need to organise around a paradigm-shifting manifesto for change (with credible enforcement mechanisms). Many useful proposals have been developed, which, without being proscriptive, include:
- Undertaking something like a “Marshall plan for the Earth” or Global Green New Deal to:
- Agree mandatory plans and mechanisms to redress global injustices created by climate change, such as Greenhouse Development Rights
- Capture carbon naturally by working with nature for example regenerative agricultural and the reversal of desertification; upholding the right to food sovereignty
- Shift to genuine renewable energy and focus on energy efficiency and demand reduction (not large-scale biofuel). Implementing, for example, the Zero Carbon Britain, Green New Deal and One Million Climate Jobs proposals
- Leave fossil fuels in the ground and stop fossil fuel investments and subsidies – no fracking, arctic drilling and other extreme forms of energy; institutions to show their care by divesting
- Adopting the Ecocide Law, a law that sits above all trade laws, to create a legal duty of Care for the Earth (as the 5th International Crime Against Peace)
- Building technologies based on circular economies (re-use of materials) and biomimicry. Localise production and ensure all costs of production (such as pollution) are internalised into the costs of products.
We will follow up with possible actions that you can undertake as they become available, whether locally, for example to prevent fracking, or nationally to demand concrete action on climate change, or internationally, such as during the climate negotiations in Paris 2015. We will work with organisations and networks who are organising acts of civil disobedience. Actions might include disobedient protests, blocking drilling or mining by corporations in our local communities, tax resistance- refusing to pay some tax to local government when it is acting against the interests of the local communities, or national tax resistance against damaging environmental policy.
Pledge Holders – Mel Strickland and George Barda
I'm Mel Strickland, an activist on climate issues and an anti-austerity campaigner. I'm involved in lots of national and local campaigns and believe it's really important now to escalate our campaigning to avert ecological disaster. I believe that the people can win, when we act collectively.
I’m George Barda, a social economic and environmental justice campaigner, an Occupy Activist, and a Compassionate Revolutionary. I work for an environmental NGO, and I have a Masters degree in Environment Politics and Globalisation / Environment and Development.