At the tail end of the upcoming UN climate summit in Paris this December, the climate movement has been preparing for a mobilisation on 12 December to ensure we, the people, have the final word.
In the wake of the terrible attacks on 13 November in Paris, those plans on the ground in Paris have been significantly re-developed, and parts of still a work in progress. Despite some of that uncertainty on the ground, people anywhere can join to help amplify the #D12 actions and have the final word. This guide explains how…
No matter what politicians decide, we need to show – everywhere and around the world – that we are prepared to defend the climate red lines that cannot be crossed. If politicians won’t get the job done, we will. We are the ones we have been waiting for.
Red line = A minimal necessity for a just and livable planet. More specifically: Sustainable energy transformation / Justice for impacted people / The right to food and water.
In order to avoid dangerous climate change we know we must keep at least 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. We must completely decarbonise our economy before 2050. Keeping these fuels in the ground is our movement’s red line. A minimal necessity for a just and livable planet.
We know that even if a Paris agreement sends a clear signal that the world is turning away from fossil fuels, we need to show that people are ready to take matters into their own hands. In fact we already are with campaigns like the successful struggle against the Keystone XL pipeline. We are showing our commitment to taking bold action to turn off the fossil fuel industry.
Below are some ideas for actions you can do in your community to make sure everyone knows about the red lines for a just and livable planet.
And as you are taking action on D12, remember that this is by no means the end of our Road through Paris organising. Looking into 2016 we are already preparing for what could become one of our biggest, most powerful escalation moments yet as a movement. More information on those plans coming soon.
In Paris, at 12:00 pm on 12/12 we will MAKE NOISE to show that the people’s voices are united in our call for bold climate action. The day after the climate talks are supposed to end (though they may well still be lingering on), on the streets outside the conference center and from the center of the city – airhorns, marching bands, pots and pans, church bells and fire stations will all ring out to make it clear that politics has crossed nature’s limits. This is an easy enough action to coordinate – invite everyone you know to come to a public space and at 12:00 pm – make. some. noise. Lots of it. Invite the press, bring a kitchen pot and a wooden spoon and sound the alarm for our planet. Or just gather a group of people and SCREAM!
Things that make noise – musical instruments, pots and pans, airhorns, and/or your voice!
Draw the line with our bodies for a livable planet.
If the Paris accord does not meet the basic necessities for a livable planet, we will have to show that this agreement is crossing the demands of the people. So we will draw the line using our bodies! Invite as many as people to come together and hold hands, link arms, hold a long red piece of fabric and stand in lines together: marking the lines that you will not allow to be crossed. Perhaps you stand along the changed high-water line or you surround a corporate target or a political building with lines of people taking action for climate justice. These can be massive or just a few people blocking the doors of a destructive target. If you want to be more disruptive, you could involve lock-on tubes to better hold space. Paint them red and they will fit right in!
This one is easy, get a BIG piece of red fabric (or paint a big piece of fabric red) and then write your red line message on it. Perhaps it is global: “Leave 80% of Fossil Fuels in the Ground” or perhaps it is local: “Close the Ivry Incinerator Now!” Bring this giant red banner to your target and take a photo with people showing what they will no longer accept such destruction to be a part of our collective future. If you are attending a march on November 28/29, bring the giant banner there and use it as a tool to invite others to your action.
Big piece of red fabric (or big piece of Fabric and Red paint). If you have red fabric, you can just paint letters on it. If you have another color fabric, you can sketch out the letters and then just paint the background red – letting the letters stay the fabric color.
Draw a line to separate the people from the polluters.
It’s time to take a stand! Climate change is already taking its toll across the world, we need to continue to isolate the fossil fuel industry by drawing a clear line: you’re either part of the problem, or part of the solution. Use THIS simple trick to make GIANT red sidewalk chalk, and then use this to physically “Draw a Line” at corporate targets that are impacting your climate and your community. Invite people to come and stand upon that line wearing red, or hold a “die-in” on one side of the line in front of a corporate target. You can invite other people to write their messages in chalk on one side of the red line answering the question: “What is your red line? What do you refuse to let be lost to climate change?”
Maybe this is even at a place, an existing or proposed fossil fuel infrastructure site, where you might plan to escalate in 2016.
This is a common tactic but one that works well because it inherently shows that it is people themselves who care about a particular issue. Simply, gather lots of people, fabric or any other material you want to use and gather somewhere where you can take a photograph from above. Perhaps just invite people to lie down and draw a red line, or spell out your red line with bodies. If you are planning to have lots of people, know that it can be complicated to organize everyone – so sketch out our image with chalk or string ahead of time, and have marked assistants who know the plan to help get (and keep!) everyone into line. Perhaps have everyone bring red clothing or fabric to cover the ground below you, and then spell out words with your bodies.
We all have things we are not willing to compromise on, we all have things we love too dearly to let be lost to climate change without putting up a fight. Inspired by the Climate Ribbon Project, organize an event where you invite people to answer the question: “What do you love and hope to never lose to Climate Chaos?” Invite them to write their response on a strip of red fabric and hang them on a tree in a public space. Invite people to read out what others have written out loud, to share the sense of what we risk losing if our planet’s ecological limits are crossed. People can also tie the ribbons around their wrist as a reminder of their commitment to organise for climate justice. Invite press, and invite kids – they often have the best sense of how big this crisis is and the details we risk losing. Be sure to upload your photos to TheClimateRibbon.org, and use both hashtags: #D12 and #climateribbon.
Lock down before we are locked into dangerous new emissions.
This is a common technique that is often used to hold space. Simply, you construct a tube or shape that you can attach yourself to, and that its difficult to detach you from. These can be made of a number of different materials – from thick cardboard tubes to concrete blocks, but all of which can complicate the process of moving you if you don’t want to be moved. Get a bunch of tubes, paint them red, and build the internal mechanisms so that only you control when you get out. Draw your red line with this practical non-violent technique. This takes a bit of building and a bit of practice (do a few rehearsals to make sure you can get in and out quickly) but can make your action much more effective. When you paint the tubes red – write messages on them (and your t-shirts!) to make sure everyone knows why you are there.
NOTE: Using this tactic to peacefully hold space involves taking personal risk and may result in a lawful order from local authorities to stop your action. Please take precautions and plan wisely and thoroughly.
Use your own creativity to plan actions, images and photos to communicate the red lines to the world and post your ideas on social media using the #d12 hashtag.
Posters: A few great posters have already been made for D12 by different artists. These posters can be downloaded at http://climateprints.org.
People’s Climate Arts: There are some great resources from the Collective that formed after the People’s Climate March in New York City. See their great resources on successful and horizontal arts-organizing strategies: http://www.peoplesclimatearts.org
People’s Test on Climate: The demands for science and justice created by a wide range of global climate groups for the COP21. A useful barometer by which we can judge any political outcome from the COP21: http://peoplestestonclimate.org.