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December 05, 2011

The Sierra Club's Weekend in Durban

Weekend in Durban

Nothing slows down in Durban, even during the weekend! While the negotiations continued inside the conference on Saturday, the people took to the streets for a Global Day of Action. But this year's day of action was special, as activists from across sub-Saharan Africa came to Durban to engage with the negotiations.

The Caravan of Hope started in Burundi and gained momentum as it picked up people. Similarly, the We Have Faith started in Kenya and bought young people of faith to the conference, while the Climate Train wound its way around South Africa. Many of the participants were not able to receive accreditation to get into the conference. But this crisis involves their lives, their families, and their communities, which will get the worst of climate change. They came to tell the world to act now before it is too late.


At the march, the South African Waste Pickers Association sang and danced next to U.S. students and European activists, while the Rural Women's Alliance marched next to members of the Landless People's Movement. The Sierra Club was a visible presence. Activists joined us during the procession of our coal coffin, which made the news. Together, we worked our way across Durban, the conference center, and the nearby beach for closing speeches.


On Sunday, the negotiators took the day off, but not the Sierra Club. Our activists participated in all-day strategy meetings, met with delegates, and even traveled to Richard's Bay to visit the world's largest coal export terminal.

-- article and pictures by Nicole Ghio


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