“We’ll always have Paris” – prebuttals of the “let’s protest the #climate conference in December 2015” meme

Pro and con about “building” towards the Climate Conference in Paris (CoP-21) in 2015


  • Gives “focus” and a “narrative” (especially important for NGOs like Chaotic Climate Spots and also diplomats – both needing to justify their existence)
  • “At the end of the day, climate change is a global problem and therefore needs a global solution”
  • Paris is gorgeous in winter! The crisp blue sky, the clean sandy walls, the dark blue of the CRS uniforms… No, wait…
  • French activists have a certain je ne sais quoi. (va va voom!)
  • It will give the French-speaking British activists (mostly, but not exclusively middle-class) some cultural, um, cache, n’est-ce pas?)


  • The same are-we-stopping-you-meeting-or-forcing-you-to-stay-put-until-you-come-up-with-a-proper-global-deal dilemma as there was at Copenhagen
  • “Mobilising” is not movement-building, but its evil-step-brother/sister.
  • Mobilising for Paris will suck all the energy out of the local issues
  • It’s too late
  • The CRS and their equivalents are already training
  • The “last chance to save” narrative is already old
  • It will be a big old Emotathon
  • It will be more marching and paper-selling
  • This will be second-time-farce.
  • Given the depths of austerity, fewer people will be able to attend (not just because of the cost of travel and accommodation, but the increased risk of getting nicked, losing job etc)

Have we forgotten everything we learnt after Copenhagen?
Or rather, did we actually learn anything from Copenhagen?

For people who believe in grass-roots power, we seem endlessly determined to project “real decision-making” onto specific moments and people at points in the (near) future.

So, what is to be done?

Christ, it’s so obvious I am embarrassed to say –
Global days of action – during the 12 day period 30 November to 11 December 2015 – around the issues that matter to us;
global justice/solidarity
et cetera

That is, we should stay away from Paris and organise events that people who don’t (yet) agree with us, or agree with us but can’t afford to travel, can come to.
Rather than making ‘all or nothing’ call-outs “come to Paris if you’re cool/brave enough, otherwise fuck off”  we should be asking people – and supporting people –  to take actions in their locality, and especially to reach out beyond their own small ecosystems.


About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
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