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People's Summit in Peru: “The Earth is burning, let´s change the system!”
an article by Cumbre de los pueblos frente al cambia climático (abridged)

People’s Summit, 11 December 2014. The people responded. A crowd of more than 15 thousand people, according to the organizers, marched peacefully to demand the COP 20 for firm and binding commitments against climate change.



click on photo to enlarge

The colorful March in Defense of Mother Earth expressed the voice of communities, social organizations, youth, women, workers and the general public.

The newness is that for the first time in Peru they all mobilized for an issue that today is seen as crucial for humanity: global warming and the climate crisis that impacts peoples from around the world.

Thousands of Peruvians from the coast, Andes and Amazon joined their voices along with citizens from over thirty countries that came to Lima for the United Nations climate talks and the People’s Summit. . . .

The march was peaceful and ended with a rally at the Plaza San Martin, with protesters carrying banners and flags questioning the capitalist system as responsible for the climate crisis.

The official motto of the Summit and the march: “Change the system, not the climate” was chanted by protesters of America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The main event at the plaza was opened by the Political Committee of the People’s Summit, consisting of the thirteen organizations which joined forces to carry it out.

The following leaders spoke at the rally: Antolin Huascar (CNA), Ibis Fernandez (CGTP), Gladis Vila (ONAMIAP), Ydelso Hernández (CUNARC -P), Miguel Silva (CCP), Lourdes Huanca (FENMUCARINAP), Milton Cariapaza (UNCA), Salvador Sánchez (ANPE ), Julio Cesar Bazan (CUT), Luis Isarra (FENTAP), Laura Santa Cruz (Youth) and Rosa Guillen of the World March of Women (WMW).

Milton Sánchez (People’s Movement for Good Living), the Amazonian leader of the central jungle of Peru, America Cabecilla, and the Vice President of the Regional Government of Cajamarca, Porfirio Medina, also spoke to the crowd.

They all highlighted the coordinated process to address the climate agenda in Peru and reaffirmed their rejection of Conga and Chadin mega projects, among others, which threaten natural sources of water and essential ecosystems for the life of local communities.

A touching moment occurred when by Máxima Chaupe, a Peruvian peasant symbolizing the people’s resistance to Yanacocha mining company, greeted the crowd.

Members of Congress Verónika Mendoza from Cusco and Jorge Rimarachín from Cajamarca renewed their commitment to grassroots struggles and questioned the double standards of Ollanta Humala government.

Diego Montón from Mexico (CLOC-Via Campesina) questioned the false solutions to climate change and transnational corporations that turn hunger into a business at the expense of health, food sovereignty and land degradation.

Iván González from Venezuela (International Trade Union Confederation-ITUC) said climate change also affects workers and unions and they are involved in the demand for a just transition that includes us all.

Tom Goldtooth, from the Dakota indigenous Nation and director of the Indigenous Environmental Network in Minnesota, United States, also expressed greetings and touched an instrument of spiritual communication to invoke the brotherhood of peoples.

See related story in Spanish.

DISCUSSION

Question(s) related to this article:


Indigenous peoples, Are they the true guardians of nature?

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This report was posted on December 20, 2014.