Militarism and the climate crisis are intensely intertwined, which is why we could not let world leaders, the Pentagon, and companies like BlackRock continue to neglect this fact year after year when discussing climate change solutions. CODEPINK cofounder Jodie Evans and campaign organizers Nancy Mancias and Suzie Gilbert traveled to Glasgow, Scotland, where the COP26 took place, demanding that the United Nations climate conference stop excluding military greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the talks. We successfully collaborated and co-created actions and events with organizations from the US, UK, Scotland, Europe, and Nigeria to shatter the barrier in advancing the discussion on the intersectionality between climate and militarism.
We kicked off our time in Glasgow by attending the Opening Ceremony and Pilgrims Procession on Saturday, October 30, where thousands of activists and campaigners made their way to the pilgrimage to have their voices heard at the COP. Watch a live interview with Nancy Mancias from the ceremony/procession.
During the first two days of COP26, world leaders, war profiteers, and climate polluters rubbed elbows with the Royal Family, attending high-roller events throughout Glasgow. We received a notice about one of those high-roller events at the historic Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Within minutes, activists flocked to Kelvingrove Park holding a loud demonstration, shaming the politicians and polluters for wining and dining while the planet was burning. Watch a brief video from the protest.
Greenham Women for Life on Earth at Kelvingrove Museum protest
The XR Rebellion movement initiated a Greenwash march through the City Centre of Glasgow, which brought out hundreds of activists and police who blocked and kettled the peaceful marchers, creating an intimidating and oppressive environment. The march aimed to expose the polluters and politicians using the COP to greenwash the climate talks. Watch a video from the protest.
Greenwash march, Glasgow
November 4 was the Day of Action on Climate and Militarism, designated by anti-war groups. CODEPINK cofounder Jodie Evans and campaigner Nancy Mancias started the day meeting with Scottish, UK, and European women activists connecting climate militarism in their campaigns and research. Watch an interview with CODEPINK cofounder Jodie Evans.
Next, we joined a spontaneous XR Rebellion peace march to war profiteer BAE Systems. CODEPINK cofounder Jodie Evans, Lynn Jamieson, Chair of the Scottish CND, and Alison with XR Peace spoke at the rally. The CODEPINK War is Not Green banner, and stickers attracted the attention of the press and participating activists. Watch a video from the protest.
Finally, we wrapped up the day of action at the Buchanan Steps, where we held a coalition rally with David Rovics, Scottish CND, Peace and Justice Edinburgh, Micronesia Climate Change Alliance –Mariana Islands, Stop the War Coalition, Scientists for Social Responsibility, World BEYOND War, Veterans for Peace UK, and Greenham Women Everywhere. Watch as Sheila Babauta with the Micronesia Climate Change Alliance speaks at the rally.
On November 5, CODEPINK and partners at World BEYOND War supported the global Youth Strike for Climate Justice march and rally. Tens of thousands of people assembled at Kelvingrove Park and marched to George Square. Volunteer activists from southern England and Neta Crawford from the Cost of War project joined CODEPINK in the march.
The next day was the COP26 Coalition Global Day of Action for Climate Justice, which attracted 100,000 marchers. CODEPINK and its partners at World BEYOND War, Scottish CND, Stop the War Coalition led the Peace and Demilitarization Bloc in the march. In addition, 40 student volunteers from the University of Glasgow -- who are on academic exchange from China -- joined the Bloc.
After all the actions and marches, it was time for the activists’ community to turn its attention to the COP26 Coalition People’s Summit, a summit with in-person and online panel discussions and workshops. CODEPINK co-created the Challenging the Military Carbon Bootprint panel with Wendela de Vries from Stop Wapenhandel, an organization that is part of the European Network Against Arms Trade. The panel included Stuart Parkinson with the Scientists for Social Responsibility, Nnimmo Bassey with Health of Mother Earth Foundation Nigeria, Raki Ap with Free West Papua Campaign, Tim Pluta with World BEYOND War, Nancy Mancias with CODEPINK, Hilary Evans with Movement for the Abolition of War, Suzie Gilbert with CODEPINK, and Nick Buxton with Transnational Institute. Read a description of the panel in the Ferret.
As the COP26 draws to a close, we know that hyper militarisation is everywhere--including in our very own neighborhoods. We know that our work is not done. We have only scratched the surface and will need to burrow through to the other side. Nevertheless, we can say that our presence at the COP26 successfully brought attention to this issue. See media links below. Stay active and sign the petition.....