Elijah Williams reflects on being in Paris the first day for COP21.Read More
By brandon king
yesterday while at the Eiffel Tower, i saw two Roma womyn hustling a homeless, handicap petition. i thought nothing of it and gave them some euros. as my comrade went to give this sister change, a self-proclaimed "vigilante" cursed the womyn, told them to scram, and ripped up their petition, telling us that what they're doing was fake, a scam.
this is our fourth day in Paris, France and i have not even begun to catch my bearings. just yesterday i was pick-pocketed by other Africans for my iphone 6 and gloves, after visiting Alternatiba's commons/convergence space along the outskirts of Paris. they are building an alternative to climate change and the energy crisis in concrete ways to lower emissions of greenhouse gases in all sectors. it was really cool to see their space and to hear about their work. for them to be at the scale they're at with over 10,000 members, i find very impressive.
but yeah. i thought about those two incidents as i reflect on why we're even here in the first place. to demand climate justice and to say no to the false solutions that the COP21 delegates are retorting.
even though i was super upset that my phone was stolen, i couldn't help but think about the conditions that contribute to people's decisions and what choices everyday people actually truly have. especially migrants.
i think about the COP, and these corporations and governments who make decisions that have global implications. these world "leaders" who have no regard for life, and actually have had the audacity to enslave mother nature, and in some cases, other humyn beings. this COP meeting is the 21st of it's kind, and they still haven't been able to come to an agreement, let alone put a break on carbon emissions. in fact, over the previous 20 COPs, carbon emissions from fossil fuels have risen 50%, as the nations of the world have put global trade and profits over life itself.
frontline communities prey on each other because we never actually see our true enemies. these corporations and world "leaders" manage an economy that's based on a non-logic of perpetual growth even though there's clear limitations on how much resources can actually be extracted.
the recent terrorist attacks in Paris coupled with the heightened repression that Arab, African and Muslim communities have experienced is a direct byproduct of these imperialist wars for control over fossil fuels. the capitalist system and the states that protect and enforce it, creates the conditions that make the oppressed and exploited turn against each other. my oppressed and exploited sisters and brothers, systemic survivors, were the people that swindled me and my comrade out of a couple of euros and stole my phone.