The flood came!
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.
After 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.