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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Climate Camp Regional Gatherings

Written by Zofia Walczak

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Climate Camp London Gathering
When: Saturday 16th Jan 10.30am to 6.30pm, Sunday 17th Jan 10.30am-5.30pm
Where: Tottenham Chances, 399 High Rd, Tottenham, London N17 6QN
Nearest tube: Tottenham Hale or Seven Sisters (Victoria Line)
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So…my first post as editor of the Earth section at Amelia’s Magazine! I’ve been preparing some posts for the listings page, overwhelmed with news of meetings and events, but here’s an overview of some of the Climate Camp gatherings going on in the next week.

photo courtesy of Amelia
People’s Assembly outside the gates of the Bella Centre in Copenhagen
(All photographs courtesy of Amelia)

Copenhagen may have been a predictable let-down, but it is also a wake-up call to creative and motivated individuals everywhere. Environmental decisions cannot just be left to politicians – any real change in our economic system, which at the moment is gnawing away the ground beneath our feet, has to come from the roots up. The real climate ‘experts’ are the creative people on the ground learning about and participating in environmental and social initiatives, setting up meetings, and taking practical steps to move away from fossil-fuel consumption (such as the Transition Towns springing up left, right and centre).

Lilo bridge built by climate campers crosses the moat at the Bella Centre, CopenhagenLilo bridge built by climate campers crosses the moat at the Bella Centre, Copenhagen

It would be convenient to believe the hype of the green-wash advertising that surrounds us, but any real success has to come from individual and collective creativity and hard work, not from glossing over issues and adding 1% of ‘natural organic ingredients’ to endless environmentally-harmful products. After the media circus that was Copenhagen, the focus now has to be firmly on local groups, meetings, film screenings, courses, and above all creative people using their skills to build and inspire a more sustainable way of living.
Meeting at the school in CopenhagenMeeting at the school in Copenhagen

This weekend I’ll be going along to the Climate Camp regional gathering in London on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th January, at Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, Tottenham, London, as well as some of the weekly meetings at SOAS later on in the month. Since the first meeting in August 2006, Climate Camp has quickly gathered a huge level of participation. This means that that the gatherings are now regional, and not national as they have been previously, allowing an even greater number of people to take part. To check out your nearest gathering click here. The meetings in London this weekend will address the failure of Copenhagen and the debate and action it should now inspire. They will include:

* What was good and what was bad in 2009, from the G20 to Copenhagen?
* What should the climate justice movement do next – in London, the UK and internationally?
* What are our goals for 2010?
* How should we organise to meet them?
* What should we organise together?
All the proposals for the regional meetings can be seen on Climate Camp’s discussion board.

The London meetings will go on from 10.30am to 6.30pm Saturday, and 10.30am-5.30pm on Sunday.   There will be a KidSpace at the gathering so parents can leave their children to play while they attend meetings.  If you want to help out in the KidSpace, email london@climatecamp.org.uk  – the more people help the more can attend meetings!  Vegan food (and cake) will be available for a donation for Saturday lunch and dinner and Sunday breakfast and lunch.  It’s best to  email if you plan on coming, that way the organizers can get an idea of numbers for food.  Amelia’s brilliant band Green Kite Midnight will be performing at the London gathering on Saturday, 8.30pm, and there will be more music afterwards!

Tomorrow, Wednesday 13th Jan, the Workers Climate Action meeting is taking place in the Grafton Arms, Grafton Way (nearest tube is Warren Street) at 7.30pm. The group aims to add a firm working class perspective to the debate and action. Find out more at their website.
photo courtesy of AmeliaBike Block at the Candy Factory in Copenhagen

There is wide disagreement on whether we should be protesting or working through the already-established political route, but I believe this misses the point. Without everyone empowering themselves with knowledge on how environmental problems can be solved and taking it upon themselves to be creative, we will only be taking symbolic pigeon steps while political and publicity campaigns continue swirling around us with empty words and soft-focus pictures of countryside scenes. Going to meetings and sharing ideas is a great way to realise we can stop relying on other people to make decisions for us, so I’ll hopefully see you this weekend and at future events!

I’d like to profile groups and individuals working on sustainability from the roots up, so please contact me on earth@ameliasmagazine.com with information if this is you, or if you’d like to contribute to this section with articles and interviews.

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