Monday, July 2, 2012

Escaping Rio Centro…

On Monday the 18th Angela and I escaped from the temporarily set up walls of Rio Centro to the tents of the Peoples Summit in Flamenco. The People’s Summit for Social and Environmental Justice is taking place parallel to Rio+20 conference from the 15th to the 23rd. The summit was sparked by the letdown of the inaction to overcome social and environmental injustice worldwide, further more the theme of the green economy at the Rio+20 earth summit has lead to disappointed expectations of the conference.

The people’s summit, with its overpowering presence of civil society, was quite the opposite of Rio Centro. The first thing Angela and I witnessed was a street protest lead by La Via Campesina, an international movement, which mobilizes millions of peasants, and other similar organizations.

In the afternoon I attended a plenary session on the commons. In contrast to the bureaucracy at Rio Center, anyone could participate and get their message across in a manner that was effective and constructive. This particular event was to reflect on the content and synthesis on points from debates that were carried out on major themes of unifying agreements. The themes included: Rights for Social and Environmental Justice, Defense of Common Goods Against Commodification, Food Sovereignty, Energy and Extractive Industries and Work: for Another Economy and New Paradigms for Society. Quite a range of themes to pick from! 

Overall it was an inspiring day that really emphasized the important role of civil society to push global leaders to bring about the changes that are essential for the well being of humanity and the planet.

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