Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo
Veteran activist Rebecca Solnit, writing on the eve of the latest UN climate change summit, divides “the people in the streets of Paris” from “the people in the conference rooms of Le Bourget.” She suggests that it is the former who now have “the power to change the world.” Drawing such frontiers between “the conference rooms” and “the streets,” echoed by many others inside and outside the movement, is fundamental to understanding the tendencies in climate change politics. But it also obscures the changing and increasingly complex battle lines within both sides and prevents us from seeing how some “people in the conference rooms” try to win over “people in the streets” by proposing to change the system in order to keep it the same. The battle lines therefore do not, and never did, just run between those “inside” and those “outside” the UN climate change summits; they also run across and within the conference rooms and the streets. Whether and how the “people in the streets” will build the “power to change the world” and prevail over “the people in conference rooms” will likely depend on who wins in the streets.
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