#3 Representation at key events

October 28, 2009

Wgtn KiwiAnd that folks is how you do it.

You get enough people on your list, at your event and receiving your feeds and they will come. The recent national day of the action for the 350 group throughout NZ saw a variety of politicians who showed up to talk to the people… or at least be seen talking to the people.

I had to smile to myself noticing an MP shifting his party’s flags to make sure they could be seen in a particular photo shoot of which he was in the background. Classic. More genuine smiling was saved for the youth that signed our Spinnaker so beautifully. No sooner than we had unfurled it than the hordes swarmed around waiting for their opportunity to write their message to go to Copenhagen.

Youth signing the spinnaker

Sending a youth voice to COP 15

Bill McKibben one of the 350 group’s main organisers in the United States told a great story when he visited NZ. He described how the local political identity in his home town absolutely refused to make a particular move that the group were calling for. However, when their march attracted many thousands of people she met them at it’s culmination and unsurprisingly had suffered an epiphany, that maybe she should support this motion after all. Whaddya know. Maybe it was a lesson for her… not writing off a determined group so fast. Maybe it was a lesson for them… you get the numbers to get the politicians.

And that is what it will take… we need the numbers. The question is how to bypass the scare tactics perpetuated by the media regarding the cost of cutting back emissions. How to push the amazing examples of individuals and businesses that have cut back and saved money – not spent money. There are many unsung heroes of this war trying to do this, who will never be awarded a gold star, a gold watch or a gold cross. They tirelessly work as volunteers or for little pay trying to educate and empower.

Such groups are constantly doing what they can to catch the eye and ear of the political movements. In my optimism I believe the tide is turning. It is a matter of time before NZ catches up with many all over the world but that time is getting closer. With the blue-greens gathering numbers and greenish policies being taken up there is hope. Admittedly there’s other policies being dumped… but with social pressure mounting I hope this foolishness may abate.

Photos; Pooria Koleyni

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