Relatório: Lutar para vencer | Report: Fight to win

Lutar para Vencer capaO novo relatório “Lutar para vencer: o impacto no clima do movimento português anti-petróleo” do Climáximo mostra que as recentes vitórias do movimento contra a prospeção e exploração de petróleo e gás em Portugal conseguiram prevenir emissões de gases com efeito de estufa. Os autores concluem que ativismo pode ser a forma mais eficaz de os cidadãos reduzirem os seus impactos climáticos.

*

O movimento anti-petróleo em Portugal preveniu já as emissões de aproximadamente 10 mil toneladas de CO2 nos últimos dois anos, graças ao cancelamento e adiamentos de contratos de exploração de gás e petróleo. O movimento conseguiu pressionar o governo para cancelar, ou não renovar, dois terços dos contratos existentes no início da legislativa e ainda conseguiu fazer adiar o furo de Aljezur do consórcio ENI/GALP, inicialmente marcado para 2016.

As conclusões do estudo são duas: (1) Os movimentos sociais são capazes de produzir resultados incríveis. (2) Participar em movimentos sociais será, possivelmente, a estratégia individual mais eficiente para redução de emissões: as emissões evitadas chegam, por ativista, aos 75% das emissões anuais médias de uma pessoa portuguesa, uma redução muito mais elevada do que em qualquer outra estratégia.

Todas as vitórias são temporárias e parciais, mas os impactos da crise climática não o são. Neste relatório, os autores, Sinan Eden (ativista do Climáximo) e Luís Fazendeiro (ativista da Plataforma Algarve Livre de Petróleo e investigador em transição energética) pretendem celebrar as vitórias do movimento até hoje e apelar à população portuguesa para que se junte a esta luta.

O relatório está disponível em inglês e em português:

Lutar para Vencer

Fight to Win


Fight to Win coverThe new report “Fight to Win: the climate impact of the Portuguese fossil-free movement” by Climáximo shows that the recent victories of the movement against oil and gas projects in Portugal succeeded in preventing a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions. The authors conclude that activism can be the most efficient way for ordinary people to reduce their climate impact.

*

The fossil-free movement in Portugal prevented approximately 10 thousand tons of CO2 emissions in the last two years, thanks to cancellations and postponements of oil and gas contracts. The movement successfully pressured the government to cancel or not renew two-thirds of the contracts which were valid in the beginning of its mandate, and further forced the Aljezur drill by ENI/GALP -originally set for 2016- to be postponed.

The report has two main conclusions: (1) Social movements are able to produce incredible results. (2) Participating in social movement is arguably the most efficient strategy for each individual in Portugal to reduce her/his greenhouse gas emissions: the avoided emissions reach 75% of annual emissions per activist, a value much higher than any other strategy.

All victories are temporary and partial, yet the impacts of climate crisis are not. In this report, the authors Sinan Eden (Climáximo activist) and Luís Fazendeiro (Plataforma Algarve Livre de Petróleo activist and energy transition researcher) intend to celebrate the victories of the movement until today and invite the Portuguese population to join the fight.

The report is available in English and Portuguese.

Lutar para Vencer

Fight to Win

Advertisements

Portugal’s fossil-free movement heating up the fight as the Aljezur drill threat approaches.

In the last couple of years, the fossil-free movement in Portugal managed to force the government to cancel 10 out of 15 new oil and gas exploration contracts. Now is the turn of the ENI/GALP consortium’s Aljezur contract, the first drill of which is set for mid-September.

The government has been extremely and ridiculously supportive of this offshore project in the Algarve region. After several public consultations, parliament votings, public protests and juridical processes, the Socialist Party government insisted in favouring the corporations, renewed and extended their expired contract, and exempted the drill from environmental impact assessment.

The movement’s response was colossal.logo_preto

Here is a summary of the last few months.

Following a press conference against the project by all mayors of the region, hundreds marched in Lisbon in the “Enterrar de Vez o Furo” (Bury the drill once and for all) protest in April. This was the launch of a summer of actions, compiled and communicated through the “Parar o Furo” (Stop the Drill) campaign.

marcha02

Parar o Furo turned the whole national territory into a playground, where activists kept a rein on all government officials. There was not a single government visit in Algarve that was not met with a protest.

Activists gave a hard lesson to GALP. That is, they actually organized an open lecture on climate change with a university professor at the GALP headquarters. Of course, to protect itself from climate science, GALP invited three bus loads of police to barr the entrance. Determined to make even a little bit of science heard, the activists organized the lecture at the main entrance.

palestra5

The activists’ next stop was the Ministry of Economy. A live fossil, who heard that Portugal won the CAN European fossil award, wanted to show his solidarity with the government who wanted to accelerate the fossilization of humans. So he designed his own fossil award and delivered to the ministry.

Then it was the turn of the Minister of Environment, who was to give a conference about energy transition. An honest version of the minister went on stage and explained how the government actively supports the corporations in the fight against climate.

rnc2050_motage-700x441

The World Cup also did not go unnoticed, as GALP is one of the main sponsors of the Portuguese national team. The “Don’t Faul Portugal” video got viral on the day Portugal played its first match.

In the meantime, all the country was filled with STOP the Oil Drill signs.

stop_furo_montage-700x485

International solidarity followed: comrades from Turkey (Northern Forest Defense), Ucraine (Eco-action), Austria (System Change not Climate Change) and Italy (NoTAP) sent support videos, underlying that the climate justice movement is united against new fossil infraestructures.

As if targets for actions were lacking, Obama came to the city of Porto to talk about climate change leadership. Reminding to public that it was Obama who launched the famous shale gas revolution in the US, activists served oil cocktails and fracked water in the entrance of the conference. Obama maintained and strengthened the fossil fuel status quo and delivered it to Trump, as is the Portuguese government doing at the very moment with the Aljezur drill.

obama montage

One day later, beaches all across the country were filled with hundreds of protesters organizing human chains to protect the ocean. The decentralized action “Petróleo é má onda” (expression: oil is not cool; literally: oil is bad wave) took place in more than 20 beaches.

aljezur

Finally, just a couple of days ago, activists dressed as business men entered the Ministry of Environment and spred banknotes filled with oil. The action “Os vossos lucros VS O nosso clima” (Your profits vs. Our climate) underlined the series of political choices by various government entities to favor the fossil fuel industry and to destroy the climate. In this action, the fossil fuel industry payed a visit to the ministry to pay for its services.

Yet this is not the end of the story. On August 4th, another Parar o Furo action is set in a beach next to Lisbon where hundreds will gather for an aereal art action.

cvapor

Then in September 8th, just one week before the set date of the drill and together with the world, Portugal will Rise For Climate, Jobs and Justice. Marches in Lisbon and Porto are already confirmed and more information can be found at http://www.salvaroclima.pt .

rise-share-img_v3-956x531

The website http://www.pararofuro.pt has detailed information in English about the context, has an action map, and sends newsletters (in Portuguese and English) regularly.

 

Climate Reality Gap – infographics

A CLIMATE MANUAL FOR WHY WE SHOULD STOP TRUSTING CORPORATIONS AND THEIR POLITICAL REPRESENTATIVES, AND TAKE THE MATTER INTO OUR OWN HANDS.

It seems almost surreal that we continue to be bombarded with good news on the “energy transition on its way” all the while experiencing climate catastrophes of increasing severity and frequency. It is absurd that while so many countries and corporations pledge to cut emissions, the actual amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing at an unprecedented rate. There is a monumental margin of error between reality and the promises that are being made.

Here we break down this reality gap in climate policies, to facilitate deconstructing what we are told.

climate_reality_gap_v2

The pdf version of the infographic here: climate_reality_gap_v2


Further reading

Alternative facts:

Accounting gymnastics

Papers signed

Technofixes

Tactics and strategies to achieve a just energy transition – Sinan Eden

This text is not about climate science nor about energy transition in general. But to start with, it is important to clarify three points:

  • We urgently need an energy transition.
  • The window of action is closing
  • We have few years left to fundamentally change our energy systems.

graphic_retina

There is no energy transition currently in course, whether just or unjust. If everything goes well with the government commitments, the marvellous increase in modern renewable energies would reach 20% of world energy supply in 2035. Despite all the green marketing, the truth is that the governments are not shutting down fossil fuel infrastructures, and they continue planning new ones.

Understanding that there is no no transition in course is important, because whoever says that it’s happening says it for purely ideological reasons, as it is not based on facts. The narrative about a possible green growth in which capitalist markets and a livable planet would be compatible not only demobilizes the people but also creates an ambition gap in social movements.

03-Renovaveis-768x408-490x260

Which takes me to my third point: we have to make this transition happen. What is at stake is not a choice between just and unjust transition, but between a just transition and climate chaos.

And to make this happen, we have to make climate change a problem of the people. This is the topic I will focus on in this text: how to make the struggle for energy transition a concrete struggle in the lives of the people.

I will further focus on workers and unions.

Forms of union intervention

There are two forms of union intervention for energy transition: Firstly, as whole workers, that is, as member of the working class and not just employees of a company. This kind of intervention is quite common all around the world.

This is a subject which is directly related to the lives of the workers and the communities, and the unions already have a long history of social and political intervention beyond the conflicts within the working places. Some well known examples are anti-war movements, struggles against privatizations, gender equality fights and the recent mobilizations against free trade agreements.

Union struggles also include a strong component of influencing and challenging government policies, as in the cases of anti-austerity movements and annual budget negotiations. In this case too, the union intervention goes beyond the immediate conflicts inside the working places and assumes a general vision on the direction the society will take.

workers-490x147

Secondly, there are workers in frontline sectors of climate crisis. Energy and transport are key sectors for the energy transition, where some jobs will be lost and many many more will be created. Particularly in public transport and renewable energies, studies predict multiple times more jobs than the fossil fuel industry offers. On the other hand, the workers in the forestry, agriculture, public health and firefighting are those who directly confront the impact of climate change. The labour organisations of these workers are essential to alert the society about the right path to take.

workers-for-climate-jobs-300x169

Climate Jobs as a strategy

To articulate social and climate justice, we have the Climate Jobs Campaign which unites environmentalist organisations and unions. We see the campaign not just as what should happen, but as what we will make happen.

The campaign, as a strategy, has a bunch of strong sides:

  • It is a concrete, positive proposal, to which we would say “Yes”, which puts us in the offensive position (rather than defensive).
  • It talks about just transition and includes workers and communities which at the moment depend on fossil fuel industry.
  • It unites environmentalists and workers, breaking the false dilemma between jobs and sustainability.
  • It demands thousands of new and decent jobs.
  • It represents a real solution to the climate crisis.
  • It sees climate as a common wealth and assumes a “public service” vision.

Tactics and experiences

With theses strategic advantages, we now pass to examples of successful alliances and union interventions around the world.

climate-jobs-justice-300x225

As in the first section, I will classify the examples as whole worker interventions and frontline worker interventions.

  • In the Basque Country, the unions addressed fracking not only as workers but also defenders of the community. Thus, they led the fight against fracking together with various other organizations, and had quite a few victories.
  • In France, the unions of the platform Emplois-Climat (Jobs-Climate) mobilized against the new labour law proposals which was to make the work conditions even more precarious. Thus, the unions used the campaign as a proposal against precarity. In Portugal too, the 2nd National Gathering for Climate Justice had CGTP-IN and the Precarious Workers’ Association in a session on labour precariousness and planetary precariousness.
  • In Norway, unions and environmentalists unite for the 1st of May march. The Portuguese climate jobs campaign was indeed launched on a 1st of May protest 2016.
  • In the UK, the Public and Commercial Services Union has a very active role in the One Million Climate Jobs campaign. The unions defend a National Climate Service, which would include climate jobs but also the whole social service organization to maintain these.
  • In New York, after the Sandy hurricane, the movements did not allow the issue to disappear from public agenda. More recently, unions signed an agreement with the governor to create thousands of climate jobs in the construction and building sector.
  • All around the world, the Climate Jobs campaign participate actively in the climate marches.
  • In Norway, the Bridge to the Future coalition prepared a pledge for the candidates in the general elections, in which one of the core demands was the creation of climate jobs.

After these cases where environmentalists and unionists used the campaign as a tool for intervention in various areas, let us now move on to the frontlines.

  • In the United Kingdom the One Million Climate Jobs campaign gained huge visibility when Vestas wanted to close down a series of wind turbines. The workers and activists called for an occupation of the turbines, to defend the work and the climate at the same time. In many parts of the world, fights for public transport could translate into such alliances.
  • In South Africa, coal miners involved in the One Million Climate Jobs campaign reject political blackmails against their employment. Instead of fighting against environmentalists, the unions support and defend the campaign as the solution for a just transition, and they thus have the support of the climate movement too.
  • In the United Kingdom, whenever a huge storm hits the land and several cities are affected by floods, the firefighters union alerts about climate change. The union underlines that if we don’t take action on time to reduce the emissions, we will reach a point that there will never be sufficient amount of firefighters to deal with what is to come. Similar approaches could work with forest fires in Southern Europe.
  • In New York, the construction workers are demanding energy efficient buildings and the creation of climate jobs in this sector.
  • The International Transport Workers’ Federation offers a training kit about the climate crisis and jobs, designed particularly for transportation workers.
  • In the United Kingdom, the Public and Commercial Services Union proposes training for the next jobs as part of collective negotiations. For instance, the workers in an oil refinery can demand training in renewable energies as part of their collective negotiation. This is one way of addressing the administrative challenges of the energy transition and preparing the workers for a low carbon economy.

These are only some examples of tactics for the fight for a just energy transition. The essential aspect at this point is that neither the labour movement nor the climate movement can alone win the fight against climate change. We need to keep reinventing and updating alliances to build the movement large and strong enough to change everything.


Adapted for CAN-EECCA from the original article in portuguese.

Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline: Not in Our Interest

In December 2016, an announcement was made of a nearly 5000 km Nigeria-Morocco offshore gas pipeline which at today’s prices will cost an estimated 20 billion US dollars. In reality, the actual costs will likely be much higher. This pipeline would be a continuation of the existing 678 km long West African Gas pipeline (WAGP) that has been in service since 2010. It aims to serve 12 countries on the African continent and some 300 million potential consumers, with a possible extension to the Europe.

We, the undersigned organizations, are concerned about this project for several reasons, including:

1. While the acceleration of global warming exceeds all expectations and greenhouse gas emissions have set a new record in 2016, the construction of this pipeline can only go in the direction of an increase of extraction and consumption of fossil resources, the main causes of global warming.

2. Contrary to what is often asserted, gas is not clean energy.  The methane in it is more volatile than CO2, and much more powerful in global warming potential[1]. Moreover, the concentration of methane in the atmosphere has accelerated dangerously since 2007.

3. The extraction, transportation and use of fossil fuels has considerable environmental implications: the disturbing effects of seismic studies on marine fauna, the use and release of various chemical substances and wastes, the risks of leaks, fires and explosions related to corrosion and navigation are additional risks to that of methane emissions. This will destroy livelihoods of millions of our people depending on fisheries in our regional waters.

4. The section already constructed (WAGP) was done without consulting the populations who rejected the environmental impact study.

5. It is a top-down project that does not consider the needs of the populations and the environment. They are not consulted and will not be the first beneficiaries of this pipeline. While Nigeria is Africa’s largest exporter of gas and oil, less than half of the population has access to electricity. In Benin, Togo, already served by the WAGP, barely a third of the population have access to electricity.

6. The proposed pipeline is a project for the multinational corporations. Nigerians do not benefit from Oil exploitation in Nigeria.

7. The energy produced will be used primarily to fuel agribusiness projects and export-oriented industrial clusters at the expense of small farmers and artisans and the satisfaction of the needs of the people.

8. This project will be a financial sinkhole. It is likely that the forecast cost of US $ 20 billion will be probably doubled and will lead to an exponential increase of the debt burden of our countries.

We the undersigned believe that the proposed Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline is bad for the region, our peoples and the Planet. We say NO to the project,

Because we choose the climate in place of fossil energy,

Because we choose the health of our planet against the appetites of multinationals,

Because we refuse to pay for projects that will not bring us anything,

We say no to the Nigeria Morocco pipeline.

Signed
1. ATTAC Morocco
2. Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Nigeria
3. Peoples Advancement Centre, Nigeria
4. Justica Ambiental, Mozambique
5. Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE), Nigeria.
6. Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD), Nigeria.
7. Les Amis de la Terre Togo (ADT-Togo), Togo
8. Jeune Chretien en Action Pour le Development (JCAD), Togo
9. Centre for Social Studies and Development- We the People, Nigeria
10. Oilwatch Ghana, Ghana
11. Environmental Justice North Africa (EJNA)
12. Green Concern for Development (GREENCODE), Nigeria
13. Social Action, Nigeria
14. Rainforest Resource and Development Centre (RRDC), Nigeria
15. Lokiaka Community Development Centre, Nigeria
16. Green Alliance of Nigeria (GAN)
17. Struggle to Economize Future Environment (SEFE), Cameroon
18. 350.org, Africa
19. Gastivists, International
20. Youth Climate Coalition, UK
21. Platform London, UK
22. Observatori del Deute en la Globalització (ODG), Catalunya
23. CoalSwarm, USA
24. Millieudefensie/Friends of the Earth Netherlands
25. Amigos de la Tierra (FoE Spain)
26. Oil Change International, International
27. Corporate Europe Observatory, Belgium
28. Association Pierre Domachal, France
29. Ecologistas en Acción (Spain)
30. Attac (France)
31. Climáximo  (Portugal)
32. Friends of the earth (USA)
33. Food & Water Europe
34. Friends of the Earth Europe
35. Non au Gazoduc Fos Dunkerque, France
36. Leave it in the Ground Initiative (LINGO)
37. Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, Nigeria
38. Egi Human Rights and Environmental Initiative, Nigeria
39. Ikarama Women Association, Nigeria
40. Oil watch international

[1] IPCC experts estimate that methane is 84/87 times more powerful than CO2 in global warming potential on a 20-year timescale.

Checklist for writing Meeting Minutes

We are publishing simple practical lists for organizers, under the tag “checklists for activists”. The pdf version of this one is available here: Checklist – Meeting Minutes v1 . If you download it, pay attention to the version number as we might update the files later.

Before the meeting

I know the topics and agenda of the meeting.

I know how detailed the meeting minutes are expected to be: just the decisions and information, or all the discussions? (In the latter case, it may be better to have more than one person taking notes.)

I know if there is any validation process: if the notes are to be sent to approval or modifications.

I am aware of the deadline to send the minutes.

I know where to send the minutes to.

During the meeting

I took note of the attendance list (if considered necessary).

I structure the notes as topics and subtopics.

I interrupt the discussion if it is too quick for me to take notes.

For the cases in which the reader is supposed to act, I use ACT (bold and in capitals) followed by the description of the necessary action.

Example: “ACT: Everyone fill in the form [link] until next Monday.”

For specific tasks, I write the name of the responsible person in bold.

Example: “On Tuesday we will have an action training. Ernesto will prepare the content.”

After the meeting

I formatted and organized the notes so that a person who was not in the meeting can understand the summary.

At the very beginning of the minutes I created a section, KEY, where I compiled the to-do lists by person.

Example:

KEY

Vladimir: write press release proposal

Rosa: prepare speech for Wednesday action, prints pamphlets

Ernesto: prepare action training, schedule attendance for the clinic

etc.

I sent the meeting minutes, or started the validation process.

If there is a validation process: I updated the document and sent the final version.

20130625_2269

Checklist for sending Press Releases

We will be publishing simple practical lists for organizers, under the tag “checklists for activists”. The pdf version of this one is available here: Checklist – Sending Press Release v1 . If you download it, pay attention to the version number as we might update the files later.

This checklist is about how to send a Press Release, a much simpler task than writing one.

Before

I have the final version of the text. / I know where to find the final version of the text.

I have the list of emails (of media and journalists, and/or other organizations).

I know from which email account to send (and I have access to it): This is important, because some actions involve creation of a separate email account. This can be a false account (to avoid relating individuals to the action) or a common account (as in the case of a protest organized by many groups).

If photo/video will be attached, I have the contact of the person who will send them to me.

I know at what time to send:

immediately after an action (e.g. in mass mobilizations)

during an action (e.g. strikes)

at the beginning of an action (e.g. blockades, direct actions)

early in the morning (e.g. declarations, report releases)

Sending

The title of the email is “PRESS RELEASE: [title]”

I formatted the text carefully. It should look like this:


[date]

PRESS RELEASE

[Title]

[One-paragraph Summary]

[Text]

[signed collective/organization]

*

[Name of contact person: Phone number of contact person]

More information:

[Sources and links, if any]


The email has the logo and website of the organization sending it.

Email has contact person information.

I am sending always BCC.*

I am sending in smaller groups of 20 contacts instead of one massive email: This is because large amount of recipients may cause the email to be marked spam. For instance, Riseup servers do not allow for such use.

⎕ At each re-send, I pay attention to any formating errors.

After

I prepared an image to accompany online publications.

I published the Press Release on our own website: Sometimes it is better to wait for 1-2 hours before doing this, to see if media covers the story in their own words.

I deleted the contact person information in public posts.

The contact person is ready to receive phone calls.

I follow the news website carefully for 3-5 hours.

I share all news coverage on social media.

Also, I share the full text of the Press Release on all social media accounts that the organization has.

I deleted the contact person information in public posts.

I check email and other social media accounts for if any journalist tries to contact us.

I updated the contact list, deleting the email addresses that bounce back.

assessoria_de_imprensa

Checklist for filming in actions and events

We will be publishing simple practical lists for organizers, under the tag “checklists for activists”. The pdf version of this one is available here: Checklist – Filming v1 . If you download it, pay attention to the version number as we might update the files later.

Disclaimer: Filming in public (particularly of the police) may have legal consequences in some countries. This checklist aims at helping you with logistics and perhaps serving as a reminder for some key components of filming actions, but does not include legal issues.

Before the action

I know who else is filming.

I know what kind of video we aim at. (live stream, documentation of repression, footage for action video, footage for documentary)

I know where the activity will take place.

For action videos: I know higher spots on the route.

For repression documentation: I know safe spots with good angles and light.

Am I supposed to publish the videos directly, or should I just send them to someone?

I know to whom I should send / where to publish the videos.

I know when I should send/publish the videos.

If you will publish: I know the hashtag of the action.

I have a badge/t-shirt to identify me as a media responsible of the organization.

I always hold my camera horizontally.

For footage filming: I filmed the preparations.

For footage filming: I filmed the arrivals of the activists.

For footage for documentary: I interviewed some of the activists about what they expect and why they are participating.

I am aware of possible police reactions: Do we expect physical confrontation? Should I be saving the videos immediately online, in case police takes away my camera?

I am aware of security measures: Are there activists who should not appear in any part of the footage (in case security takes my camera)? Are there activists who must definitely appear in the video (e.g. police violence against members of the parliament, elderlies, or families)?

I set up my camera (considering brightness, flash, angle/lenses).

My camera has enough battery. (In case of live streaming: I have a back up battery.)

I checked the microphone quality of my camera.

I know who will be taking photos during the action.

I talked with the filming team and I know what they need from me (photographers might take 3-5 second short videos together with the photos).

During the action

I always hold my camera horizontally.

From which directions does the light come?

We have at least five short videos where the principal slogans are filmed.

We have at least one short video where the crowd and the principal banner are filmed.

For live streaming and for action video: I filmed the entire action so one can confirm the number of protestors.

For action video and for documentary: I have one single footage that could highlight the diversity of the participants.

For action video and for documentary: My footages have signs or banners that identify the action. In these, all banners are legible in my photos.

We have footage of all banners.

For documentary: The activists in my videos do not look distracted or tired. (They may be shouting a slogan, or simply smiling to the camera.)

We have close-up and audible videos of all speakers of the demonstration or conference.

For photos of speakers: I have videos that show various emotions of a speaker. (anger, joy, determination, cheerfulness etc.)

We have some detail footage: people talking to each other, families, an interaction with security authorities, people with colourful costumes or t-shirts with slogans, people holding signs with long phrases, celebrities, etc.

I always hold my camera horizontally. (Seriously, do not ever forget this.)

If there is a banner drop: I shot a video catching the entire banner drop.

If there is confrontation: I filmed the banners that police took away.

For repression documentation: I documented police violence and I am in a safe place to protect the footage.

For repression videos: My videos include the political message – and not just the physical confrontation itself. (Sometimes a sign or a banner is visible. Sometimes the building entrance has a logo. Sometimes activists have t-shirts that identify them with a cause. Perhaps some verbal messaging from activists. In the worst case, I myself spoke to describe and contextualize the situation.)

I am delivering all the urgent videos right away. (The reasons for this may be: An immediate press release must be sent. / Police may take away my camera. / The hashtag is becoming a trending topic and the organizers are expected to feed in.)

After the action

I know where my camera is, and if and how I could get it.

I got into contact with others of the filming team and confirmed that we have good videos of all kinds.

I sent all the videos to the organizers.

If you are expected to publish: I made a careful selection of 5-10 short videos that include crowds, banners, slogans, speakers and details; and I published them with a descriptive text and with the right hashtag.

If there is an immediate video to be edited: I sent all my photos and short videos to the person who will edit the video.

TURKEY-POLITICS-PROTEST

How to present an action in an action briefing

We will be publishing simple practical lists for organizers, under the tag “checklists for activists”. The pdf version of this one is available here: Action briefing v1. If you download it, pay attention to the version number as we might update the files later.


Some actions are organized over several meetings with the participation of all the activists involved, and some actions are organized by an affinity group while other activists only show up to take part in the action. This note for organizers applies to the latter case.

Many people show up in an action briefing with some doubts, because they didn’t participate in the process of its creation. Other people may have doubts because they may not feel sufficiently informed about the issue. So, what we as organizers need to do is not only to explain the action, but also contextualize the action and motivate people to participate in it.

Here is one way we frame actions in those meetings.

1) Context: We first explain the political context in which the action happens. Depending on who is there, you may start with climate urgency or carbon budget. Or maybe there is an auction or voting coming up about a particular project.

Basically, we start by explaining why we must act now.

We do not open a discussion about this point.

2) Concept: So, something bad is happening and we must respond. What is the message we want to transmit? This is the second step of the briefing. We try to express it as succinctly as possible, hopefully with a single slogan. In a way, this would be the summary of the press release.

We do not open a discussion about this point.

3) Image: Now, what is the action that would transmit that message? We typically think in terms of image. This is defined by the concept, but determined by our capacity (resources, logistics, availability, media outreach etc.).

It’s maybe hundreds of people putting their bodies in front of a coal excavator (like in Ende Gelände), or maybe a group of animals invading a corporation’s office (like in EZLN actions during Climate Games).

We discuss this point a little bit, because there may be interesting supplementary proposals or there may be substantial objections to the proposal.

4) Details: Then we talk about turning it operational. This is open discussion. We discuss about

– preparations: materials, trainings, meetings, meeting point and time, etc.

– action roles: activists, mediators, filming, communicators (for media and for passers-by), back-office, etc.

– communication: press release, video, live-stream, etc.

– debrief: when and where we would make an evaluation.

We start with the context (motivate), continue with the concept (inspire), then demonstrate the image (amaze), and finalize with the details (execute).

But perhaps this is still too abstract.

Below are some examples.

GALP Energia vs EZLN – Exército Zoológico de Libertação da Natureza

https://vimeo.com/218201229

Context

GALP/ENI consorcium wants to start offshore drilling for oil and gas next week. The Portuguese government talks a lot about carbon neutrality, but it gave permission for this project. This would be the first offshore oil drill in Portugal. The fossil fuel reserves already tapped and being extracted are more than our carbon budget, this drill must be stopped now.

Concept

Portugal has a strong cultural connection with the oceans. The extractivist GALP/ENI threatens to attack our ocean and our climate. We will fight back. We are nature defending itself!

Image

We will dress up as sea animals and invade GALP headquarters. We will bring the ocean with us. We will make noise and a mess, although uncomparably less than what GALP/ENI would do to our oceans. We will stay for a couple of minutes, then leave, make our dance, and go away.

Details

costumes, filming, choreography, banners, video, press release, trainings, meetings, etc.

EDP (Ende Gelaende, Lisbon)

https://vimeo.com/244485620

Context

A few days before COP-23, thousands of activists will occupy one of the biggest open air lignite mines in Europe. The governments have been negotiating for 23 years, and emissions keep on going up. Ende Gelaende will show how to actually cut emissions: by stopping the fossil fuel industry.

While in Portugal, EDP has the coal power plant in Sines, responsible for 10% of national emissions. EDP does a lot of greenwashing talking about electric cars (coal cars?) and a lot of whitewashing too – with its recently opened art museum.

We should show our support to our comrades in Ende Gelaende, and we need to bring coal into climate agenda in Portugal.

Concept

We will go to the museums of EDP and draw the red lines for a liveable planet. We will tell EDP that coal belongs to museums and not to energy production any more.

Image

We will draw our red lines around Museu de Eletricidade (old power plant, now electricity museum), because fossil fuels should stay inside the museums. Then we will literally knit and weave red lines at the entrance of the newly opened art museum (MAAT).

Details

knitting material, banners, photos, video, press release, flyers to distribute

Marcha pela Ciência & Marcha pelo Clima

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HXNZs5a2IE

Context

Trump’s policies triggered a massive movement all around the world defending evidence-based policies for climate and social justice. In April, there will be global marches for science and (one week after) for climate.

It is important to underline that one doesn’t need to say what Trump openly says to do what Trump does. In fact, science in Portugal is underfunded and precarious, and while the government talks about carbon neutrality, it also allows new oil and gas projects.

Trump’s election is an opportunity for revealing the hypocrisy of all governments, and demand evidence-based climate policies.

Concept

Over the course of 10 days, we will have the opportunity to summarize the world and society we want.

First, on April 22nd, we will march for science, demanding more funding for those who set the factual base of evidence-based policies: scientists, teachers, universities.

One week after, on April 29th, we march for climate justice. We demand sound policies for a liveable planet, and more concretely the cancellation of new oil and gas contracts.

This will be a bridge to the May 1st labour demonstration, where we will demand jobs and justice.

Image

We will bring people from all backgrounds and all priorities to the streets throughout ten days: scientists, students, environmentalists, frontline populations of fossil fuel extraction, youth, and workers from all sectors.

Details

banners, posters, flyers, meetings

These examples may help to visualize how to frame an action and how to structure an action briefing.

Of course, preparing an action briefing is perhaps the least difficult part of preparing an action. But if you need numbers or if you need to motivate people for confrontation, a well-planned and carefully designed action briefing may be a useful organizational tool.

Here, you can draft your action briefing:

Context

(why we must act now)

Concept

(what do we want to say?)

Image

(how will we say it, what is the action?)

Details

(what do we need to execute the action?)

direct-action-862x482