In the lead up to the UN climate negotiations beginning in Cancun this Monday, Brent Patterson and I have joined a caravan for environmental and social justice. We are on a caravan beginning in San Luis Potosi, we will arrive in Mexico City late tomorrow night. There are two other caravans with different starting points, we will converge in Mexico City on the 30th for a large demonstration. From there the caravans will continue to Cancun – we have heard that around 60 buses are expected to descend on Cancun, Dec. 4th.
The caravans are being organized by Via Campesina, an international peasants and farmers organization, the National Assembly of Affected Peoples based in Mexico and a number of other local organizations in the communities we will be stopping in.
Each stop provides participants an opportunity to meet and hear from people experiencing environmental and social impacts associated with a local polluter, and aims to connect these struggles with the collective challenge we face in addressing the climate crisis.
On our caravan, there are a number of Mexicans from as far away as a 7hour drive as well as international delegates from the U.S., Italy, Spain and Canada. We met up with two staff from Polaris Institute last night and Louise, staff at PSAC and 5 PSAC members from Ottawa, Saskatchewan, Northern Alberta, Yukon and Nunavut.
The morning started with a delicious breakfast we helped to prepare at a local cafe. We gathered in a nearby square and have now boarded our buses. Our first stop is one that I, as a Canadian, feel a sense of responsibility to.
We are visiting a site outside of San Luis Potosi where people are challenging New Gold, a Canadian corporation; we are about to learn why.
Right now I am watching the passing countryside, in the distance I can see a mine, New Gold written in stone on the side.