And it’s day 3 of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, better known as the COP15, held in Copenhagen till the 18th of December 2009.
Many things have already happened since we and the FYEG delegation have arrived. For more info one could turn to twitter and the FYEG Blog.
ANd we’re nearly there! Halfway at least. We’re sitting in the ICE Hamburg – Copenhagen. In the corridor since there seem not to be any places left on the train. We expected mainly activist on the train, but from the looks of it those are only a minority. Except if the 60 year old couples will turn out to be die hard activist. Who knows what they did in their golden days?
Well, let’s hope they are. Cause we will need every voice in Copenhagen to be loud and visible. From the looks of it also Copenhagen will be a failure for the Climate. Our so-called leaders are seemingly not willing to live up to the promises they have been making for the past year. They are slowly backing out of an agreement to be reached here., moving it up to 2010. But we know that in politics postponement means that there will be no agreement or a very weak one.
And we (the people and the planet) need a strong agreement. We need to stop climate change. It’s simple. It’s as simple as the survival as we know it now.
And therefor we need to raise voices. In Copenhagen. But also in our home countries. We need to pressure our governments into the necessity of this agreement. We need to say loud and clearly that this is a matter of utmost importance. That we need a change in their behavior, not climate change
Here we go again. We’re off to Copenhagen. Off to the COP15. The plan is to travel by train from Istanbul to Bucharest. From there to Budapest and then to Vienna and then to hitch hike to Copenhagen.
When I’m writing this we’re already on the night train to Budapest and it’s past midnight. We actually survived the 22 hour train ride from Istanbul to Bucharest and those hideous passport controls. Having a Belgian Passport indeed has its benefits. No visa trouble at all. The obnoxious border patrols asking over and over for my supposedly Turkish Passport witch according to them I should have when they see my name are just a minor trouble. More mental than actually physical.
For Esra, whom I’m traveling to Copenhagen with this is the first time she has actually left Turkey. Since she has a green passport it makes things with visa’s easier. She only had to apply for a transit visa for Bulgaria. But still.
We could see the suspicion in the eyes of those border guards. Why was this Turkish Girl traveling with this supposedly Belgian boy.
Additional questions were almost always asked. Like it was actually any of their business. But we complied. We wanted to get through in the end.
We wanted to reach Copenhagen before we got anything close to getting arrested or send back.
This of course doesn’t make this damned fortress Europe any better. Nor anything else that deprives us from the freedom of movement.
But these borders and visa shit make it nearly impossible to go to a climate conference in Copenhagen from Istanbul. Many other activists are taking the plane as they would loose too much time and money visiting consulates and begging for transit visa’s. You can say that it is not green or even mind-bobbling to fly to such an event, but as a privileged Westerner with a EU passport I really do not feel just to cast judgement upon that. Not everything is that black or white.
Of course I was kinda freaked out when a journalist from the Turkish newspaper Radikal called and told that we were most probably the only ones going by train from Turkey. You simply never would like to be one of the only ones doing something that crazy. But his first question after that was rather interesting. He asked why we wanted to go by train. As he really did not understand the reason behind it. But why not go by train? Isn’t it the most environmental manner to travel? Next to Hitch hiking?
To some it seems nearly an injustice not to use our advanced technology when traveling. They would nearly take it as an insult to travel by transport that is time consuming. But we’d rather do that then as it is less energy consuming and certainly less damaging to our climate.
today’s world is all about pretense. Nothing else.
We’re all pretending that it’s all okay. Everything is alright. Everything is bound to whatever society expects from us and that’s alright. Everything is just great. We’re all fitting in a box and refusing to think out of it. We’re just doing our best to be plain simple. And even in our extra-ordinary behavior we’re not even coming close to the limits of what is expected. We’re not even coming close to chocking not only everybody else but ourselves. We’re playing safe.
Cause we fear insecurity. We fear ourselves. We fear jumping out of the box. Even when we think we’re exceptional we’re staying put and not expanding our horizon as it should. We refuse because it is to scary.
As such we can have the pretense that we can dress up as a women whilst being a man in ‘normal’ life, but as such we are scared as hell to discover something else that is not society bound. We’re just too afraid. We are too insecure. And that kills us. It kills us in being a complete human being. Living on the edge. Not thinking but feeling. Because we are programmed. Because we are brainwashed. To think that we are exceptional. That whilst we are not. And we are not. We are just touching the boundaries. Scratching at what is normal and expected. Simply pretending what we are not.
We are human. And that mean that we are overtaken by our own ego’s. By our own fucking shortcomings. We’re all pretending. We’re all just fucking bloody plain. And we shouldn’t pretend.
We’re nothing. Deal with it. Do not pretend.
I have to admit it; it was nuts. Thirty-five hours on a fucking bus. It was nuts. And that was only the way there. It took us another 34 hours to get back to Istanbul. Nuts, I say.
Being dropped kilometers before the Georgian border whilst you had bought your ticket to Batumi. A Laz taxi driver who told the story of the Iron Curtain and his people’s separation by it. Children begging for their life at the Batumi bus station. The matroeska between Batumi and Tiblisi breaking down.
Stressful to say the least. But then there they were. Ten days in Georgia. First and Executive Committee Meeting and then the CDNEE summer camp.
The CDNEE summer camp as such is every year a great experience. Only the pretext of having so many countries assembled and being able to experience so many personalities is already a big hurray. But considering it was a summer camp with the big topic of ‘Green Values’ it was worth a Mexican wave. Seven days long we discussed in workshops on gender, non-violence, democracy, anti-militarism, human rights, etc..As if we couldn’t get enough from discussing we would also continue during the evening and nights sitting under the stars in the middle of nowhere and drinking some cheap Ukrainian vodka mixed with sprite. Emotional discussions. Rational discussions. Content wise discussions. Pragmatical discussions. We had them all. Even discusssions on whether or not playing a killing game was ‘responsible’. And it was great. F*cking great even.
I might have to forget how sick iIl was during 8 out of 10 days, how i couldn’t keep in food, how the toilet bowl was my best friend or how i got easily annoyed by the differences between EU and non EU countries. But still it was great.
And then the busride back to Istanbul. After that I’m quite sure I will never ever set a foot again in a long distance bus. NO way. No No Never. F*ck no. From the women with magical expanding powers to the unfriendly and sexist bus driver till the bloody aircirculationthingy that didn’t work and no sleep for 34 hours, I’ve had it with buses.
Posted in politics, Travel
Tagged CDN, discussion, Europe, FYEG, Green, human rights, personal, politics, Travel, young greens
Last Saturday, the 20th of June was the World Refugee Day and in times where climate refugees are such a hot topic one should take the occasion to take a moment and reflect upon the existence of fortress Europe.
One often thinks that the whole world would like to seek refuge on our European continent whilst the largest amount of refugees actually are found on the African continent and those people do not even have the intention to ever cross the Medditeranian.
But somehow there is this misconception that the European Union is overflooded with refugees in search of a better future either for political or economical reasons.
This misconception has led to the belief that we are in need of shutting our borders off for economical refugees and that we use very subjective criteria to determine if somebody is entitled to the status of political refugee and thus makes a chance for that much needed and hoped for better future.
It is only human to be in search of something better as it is understandable that every person on this globe would like a life that is not only about surviving but also about living.
And then comes the question why there is a belief that there should be criteria to determine if somebody has the right or not to be entitled to a better life. An answer is yet to be given to those who are returned to their country of origine and to those who live in the European Union and are being considered as illegal. This whilst it is hard to actually understand how a human being as such can be illegal.