In Glasgow, around the streets, churches or convention centres, civil society tries to exist outside of COP26

In Glasgow, around the streets, churches or convention centres, civil society tries to exist outside of COP26

On Saturday morning, November 6, it is raining in Glasgow. In Kelvingrove Park, west of downtown, where the huge “Global Day of Action” event is about to begin, Alicia Guzman dreams of a hot coffee. A member of the NGO Stand Earth, it works hard to make the indigenous population of the Ecuadorian Amazon visible. But she wonders whether maintaining this human chain was initially planned around the installation of a giant cloth that volunteers attempt to fix on the spongy ground: a blue butterfly, a symbol of life among Amazonians. . “Yes, yes, people will come regardless of the weather”, launches an ally in Spanish.

He insisted: The Scottish Deluge did not deter the protesters. More than 100,000 people gathered in Glasgow to press for negotiators, a few hundred meters away from Scotland’s eventing campus where the Climate Conference (COP26) has been held since 31 October. And he competed in his imagination to carry his messages: necessary “end of talk”, liability to“do it now”, “Because there is no planet B”, At the feet of the wet butterfly, we saw a unicorn, birds and giant terrestrial globes, banners of all colors, flags of all countries, singing at the top of their lungs. international Or Christian songs, kilns and bagpipes …

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perseverance and creativity

And for good reason. It takes persistence and creativity to be successful at present and attract media attention on the sidelines of such a large climate conference (30,000 participants from at least 120 different countries). And very specific: moving from “green” areas (open to the general public) to “blue” areas (where interactions take place) requires recognition, and it takes time to navigate between the two. “We need places where civil society and recognized people can exchange more easily”, suggests Alicia Guzman.

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At the moment, towards the media exposure, representatives of indigenous peoples, especially from the Amazon, are doing quite well. It must be said that they came in numbers: eighteen Amazonian leaders traveled from nine South American countries, accompanied by many young people, proudly wearing headdresses or traditional tattoos in the streets of Glasgow and the corridors of the COP. He led the youth parade on Friday, just before Greta Thunberg, and again on Saturday in the front rows. “Since the beginning of 2021, various NGOs representing their interests have come together to amplify their messages”, Explain to Alicia Guzman.

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