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Jun 08, 2009

The clock is tck tck ticking

by PhilLee — last modified Jun 08, 2009 10:45 AM
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Delegates from 182 countries are in Bonn discussing key negotiating texts which can serve as the basis for critical climate talks in Copenhagen this December. Sam fleet from Friends of the Earth Europe and also a member of the Young Friends of the Earth Europe movement (Young FoEE) is there.

With regional meetings all morning, I took the opportunity to catch up on work - monitoring the media. With no luck on the international front I resorted to rather basic monitoring methods in the local newsagent, scanning every German paper in sight. The paper that had promised to cover the event seemed to feature exclusively scantily clad women and I secretly hoped that we’d been left out.

 

The Young FoEE delegation left the hostel around 11am to head towards the park near the Maritim hotel, where 350.org were organising a huge aerial picture, followed by a march to the doors of the Maritim where speakers, including two members of the Young FoEE policy action group, would talk about climate justice. It promised to be an exciting day spent outside along with hundreds of fellow activists and campaigners. The only downside – it was pouring with rain.

 

We arrived at the site for the aerial picture and were kitted out with Green hard hats (symbolising the potential for greening the economy) and white jumpsuits that were thankfully waterproof, as it became clear on arrival that we would be spending at least 45 minutes laying in the rain. The atmosphere was nevertheless one of excitement, this time like a festival with the fun.

 

The exact number required to pull off the human banner turned up, 450 people would form a giant exclamation mark, with the words “Yes you can” and “tck tck tck”. German camera crews arrived, and numerous other press, and the choreographer began preparing the human banner on the ground.
After 45 minutes laying on the wet grass in the rain, thoroughly soaked, we finally got the shot that was needed, which would be spread across the web and inside the conference in the eco – the NGO newsletter.  

 

 

An inspiring and motivating message to the participants in Bonn that the clock is tck tck tck-ing, and that we only have 6 months left to deliver a strong and just climate deal in Copenhagen.

Inspired, tired and on my way home

by PhilLee — last modified Jun 08, 2009 06:36 PM
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Delegates from 182 countries are in Bonn discussing key negotiating texts which can serve as the basis for critical climate talks in Copenhagen this December. Sam fleet from Friends of the Earth Europe and also a member of the Young Friends of the Earth Europe movement (Young FoEE) is there.

Young FoEE Bonn - Group ShotWith most nursing either sore heads or sore backs, depending on where they had spent either their time awake or asleep respectively, the final evaluation session rounded off the week of very intense work from the Young FoEE delegation.

 

We had collectively achieved a huge amount in a very short space of time: two actions, two teaser actions, meetings with delegates, regional planning sessions, blogs, films, participation in further actions, policy meetings, press work, a march... I could go on.

 

Everyone was exhausted, but, I think it’s fair to say, inspired. I was definitely inspired. This was my first experience with Young FoEE, and I am left with nothing but respect for a force of very dedicated, intelligent and motivated people. I have no doubt that they have the capability to play an important role in the negotiations in Copenhagen, from inside and out, and have no doubt that each and every one of the participants will return to their countries and inspire more to join.

 

The trainers themselves did a fantastic job coordinating and developing the participants and deserve huge respect for the work that they have done and will continue to do. In five days we had gained ourselves a reputation both inside and outside the walls of the Maritim hotel, even challenging the UNFCCC action policy, and it was all thanks to the energy and dynamism of the Young FoEE team.

 

I personally spent Sunday in a form of stupor trying to remember why at 4 am the previous night we had thought it would be a good idea to check out the nightlife of Bonn, and also question how we had achieved so much. It was my first opportunity to really sit and assess.

 

Here is a short list of sites where you can see for yourself the movies, images and blog posts from the week:

 

 

A few of the Young FoEE-ers will continue the good work through the week, but the majority leave today, to meet again in Sholta, Croatia for the summer training camp. Then, if everything goes to plan, the Young FoEE force meet again in Barcelona: so watch out!

Young FoEE and 350.org spell it out

by PhilLee — last modified Jun 08, 2009 12:20 PM
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Young FoEE and 350.org pose for an aerial photo in Bonn where climate talks are being held spelling out their demands for a just deal in Copenhagen this December.

The flood came!

by PhilLee — last modified Jun 08, 2009 12:00 PM
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Delegates from 182 countries are in Bonn discussing key negotiating texts which can serve as the basis for critical climate talks in Copenhagen this December. Sam fleet from Friends of the Earth Europe and also a member of the Young Friends of the Earth Europe movement (Young FoEE) is there.

Young FoEE Bonn - Flood actionAfter shaking off the excess water, and with the rain still falling, Young FoEE grouped to brief for the march towards the Maritim Hotel. The idea was to form a blue block using blue bin bags to cover our clothes, and to display the numerous banners that had been created during the week. We wanted to take the message to delegates that the Flood really is coming, and pride of place was given to the Flood banner, that would eventually be hoisted up outside the Maritim during the speeches.

The Young FoEE block, with the addition of BUND Jugend, the German arm of Young Friends of the Earth Europe, numbered over 50 people in total, and with the calls for “Climate Justice Now!” appeared to be the most dominant force in the march. Organised charges by David Heller, Communications Officer for The Big Ask Campaign, where the Flood would squat and count down from 10, and then charge, banners flying, were an injection of energy, and dispelled all worries of cold and soggy feet.
 
The route weaved through the park towards the “Halls of Power”, as the choreographer had described them, and after dancing behind the samba band we charged the last portion of road up to the roadblock outside the Maritim.

We diverted towards the Tck Tck Tck stage, where speakers delivered motivating stories and chants on the theme of climate justice. With experimental chants that attempted to find rhymes with “climate justice”, we raised our voices with the hope that we would make so much noise that not only the delegates inside would hear us, but that their superiors would hear us at the end of every phone line.

Finally, Jasmine and Bjorn, two members of the Young FoEE delegation took to the stage and gave speeches, in English and German respectively, to the soaked but upbeat crowd. I made a dash inside to get the pictures online as quickly as possible, before joining the evaluation meeting.

The rain continued to fall all evening, and when we returned to the hostel late at night, after the rather raucous NGO party held in the Piano Bar at the Maritim, many campers found themselves on the receiving end of the very message they’d been carrying all day: the flood literally came, and 27 people, with tents drenched inside and out took shelter in the meeting room for the night.

Video: Have you done your homework?

by PhilLee — last modified Jun 08, 2009 12:13 PM
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Delegates from 182 countries are in Bonn discussing key negotiating texts which can serve as the basis for critical climate talks in Copenhagen this December. Young Friends of the Earth Europe (Young FoEE) are there asking world leaders if they're going to cut their emissions by 40% by 2020.

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