Late Friday afternoon Bolivian president Evo Morales addressed more than 2,500 cheering supporters at the Via Campesina alternative forum.
As the crowd of people from around the world gathered, lively Andean music was played, and people clapped and danced and celebrated. Those gathered have undoubtedly felt the palpable frustration here with the dismal state of the climate talks, but somehow that was transformed into a moment of hope and genuine inspiration.
Morales said that the powers at the climate conference don't want to change the system, they want to privatize nature. But change is possible because organized peoples have changed economic systems and presidents throughout history.
He said that climate change is a crisis of capitalism. He added that capitalism only creates more problems, it is no solution, and it provides no hope for the people. And that the World Bank, an instrument of capitalism that caused the problems, cannot be part of the solution and administer climate aid.
Morales said he has brought the recommendations of the Cochabamba peoples conference to the UN summit. So now the world is debating the rights of Mother Earth. He said that sixty years ago the UN recognized human rights. Indigenous rights and civil rights have been adopted. It's now time for the rights of Mother Earth to be recognized.
He said basic services cannot be private businesses. Water cannot be a private business, nor can energy or communications. He said the Bolivian constitution recognizes the right to water and that water is now recognized by the UN as a human right.
Morales said that the money used on war should be spent instead on those affected by climate change. He said we should take money from the military not carbon markets. He added that it's not possible to have money for killing but not for life.
And Morales said that a new socialism is needed to face capitalism. He said we need to live well not better, we need to share not compete, we need to live in harmony with Mother Earth. We need to save the worker, but also Mother Earth.
Hopefully we will be able to provide a video or a transcript of his speech soon.
Brent Patterson, Director of Campaigns and Communications, Council of Canadians
Thank you for reading this story…
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.
rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.
So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.
And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.