In the wake of the recent attacks and the ensuing police repression, activists are connecting the dots between climate change and violence, transforming France's declared state of emergency into a global state of climate urgency. And the Climate Ribbon is playing its part.
On Saturday, November 28, at the 6000-strong Conference of Youth, Carl, 14, a young activist from Syria currently living in Orleans, France, contributed a climate ribbon that highlighted the deep connection between conflict and climate chaos. What Carl loves and is afraid of losing is his home country, REMOVE: because of "all the pollution of the bombs that fall in Syria." For many families in Syria, he explained, the risk comes with every breath: "Syria is a very hot country and it’s cold in the winter… with the bombs there is no electricity and with the pollution the people can't breathe." Carl used his ribbon to make his struggle visible. He told us, "nobody has really written about Syria and maybe in COP they [the UN] will see this and think about Syria too."
On Sunday, November 29, even though the mass climate march was called off by French authorities, thousands of people gathered together and locked arms, forming a two-kilometer human chain that "broke" in front of the Bataclan concert hall where 90 people were killed in the November 13 attacks. Lots of folks gathered in La Place de la Republique, and around the various sites of attacks. Human Chain participants were both reverent and playful—with improvised costumes and impromptu dancing in intersections. Bi-lingual Climate Ribbon volunteers were out on the streets too, inviting participants to contribute what they love and hope to never lose to climate chaos and add them to Climate Ribbon trees installed across Paris.
Today was the first day of the climate summit. With one ribbon tree debuting inside the UN conference at Le Bourget tomorrow, and one installation hung at 'A Place 2 B,' the activist co-working hub set up for the COP21, the Climate Ribbon crew is throwing down on our biggest installation yet. The Tree of Life is currently being constructed in an artists' warehouse in a working class neighborhood of Paris, in collaboration with a talented team of local designers, builders and artists. We've exhausted our funds, but we’re continuing to work full steam ahead.
Please help us cover all the costs of this project. Make an online donation now. With your help we can bring this healing ritual and heart-opening work of art and to the people of Paris and the world.
Photos by Kate McNeely, LJ Amsterdam, Michael Premo, Rachel Falcone and Walter Hergt.