I am in the Auditorio de Cultura at Univalle at this moment for the presentation of the conclusions of the working groups on climate migration, technology transfers, adaptation, and the global referendum.

There are several hundred people in this university auditorium to vigorously discuss and debate the conclusions of these working groups which have been meeting over the past two days.

The working group statements will go next to a drafting committee and then form the foundation of the dialogue between government leaders and civil society tomorrow at the conclusion of the Peoples World Conference on Climate Change here in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

It is expected that Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow will be at tomorrow morning’s dialogue (after a Democracy Now! interview) at the Hotel Regina.

Originally it was anticipated that 8,000 people would attend this conferencia, then early reports had attendance estimated at 18,000, and now it is reported that 41,000 people are here.

While Bolivian social movements continue to push the Morales government (as is the responsibility of any social movement), as a Canadian it defies imagination to picture a participatory conference on climate change being convened by our government, whether Conservative or Liberal.

Not only has the Harper government been an obstacle to meaningful climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, it is presently engaged in organizing the antithesis of la Conferencia Mundial de los Pueblos, that being the G8 and G20 summits in Ontario this coming June.

The G20 is an undemocratic institution that is committed to a ‘business as usual’ agenda rather than climate, water and trade justice. Rather than seeking ways to engage the peoples of the world, millions will be spent on security measures to keep people as far away as possible from the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto.

This is a profoundly different approach than 41,000 people gathering together from 126 countries engaging in a dialogue with representatives of at least 70 governments.

The convenor has just said, “Thank you everyone for your faith in the process. Not only is a better world possible, in some ways it is already here.”

Brent Patterson, Director of Campaigns and Communications, Council of Canadians
www.canadians.org

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Brent Patterson

Brent Patterson is a political activist and writer. He has worked in solidarity with revolutionary Nicaragua, advocated for the rights of prisoners in jails and federal prisons, taken part in civil...