BREAKING NEWS FROM COP 21 – AN INDIGENOUS UPDATE
On Day 4 of the COP 21 Negotiations being held in Paris, Norway, believed to be one of the staunchest allies of the indigenous, tried to eliminate key components of the already agreed upon UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People.
This shocking attempted betrayal happened in a closed door session after Norway virtually paid for the conference with the multimillions they donated to the UN, which included to the cost to fly 130 indigenous leaders and activists to Paris from all over the world, as well as and house and feed them.
Unknown to the ‘leaders’ in the sit down closed door session, the indigenous activsts had two sisters inside the session, who reported to their leaders Norway’s treachery and now it is being revealed to the world.
As of today, near the end of Day 5 of the session, the essential component of the UNDRIP has been returned to the legally binding text where it belongs.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF AN INDIGENOUS RIGHTS ACTIVIST.
It is closer to a goddamned James Bond movie—with new political intrigue unfolding at every twist and turn—than you might imagine and it is the same in every forum we are involved in at the local, regional or international level.
Same shit, different day, basically. We have no choice, except to keep moving forward and keep fighting the just fight.
Our ancestors who shed their blood, sweat and tears so that we can still exist today must not ever be said to have died in vain! As long as we survive—our resistance to the ongoing conquest/attempted conquest of our peoples will never end!
Many who are not part of this long and often bitter (even seemingly hopeless at times) process, like to ‘poo-poo” the efforts of those of us here who willingly leave spouses and children behind in order to have a voice at the highest levels of global governance such as this. To you naysayers, I tell you solemnly, you have no right to criticize and condemn that which you do not understand.
Why don’t you ask those of us who do come here to ‘do battle on the diplomatic front’ why it is so very important that we do continue to send warriors into the arena on the bahlf of you, me and all generations of our peoples yet to come?
You cannot change something like this from the outside looking in, you must get inside the belly of this beast and change it from within (or at-least give it an upset stomach for what ill’s it is doing to us).
Trust me, we do have our victories! These are what made the very existence of the UNDRIP & the UNPFII etc. They make it possible in the first place (previously the UN did not even allow indigenous people to set foot in their process) after almost three decades of hard work by our leaders behind the scenes.
Though I want to caution you that they might try to do this again to us before we leave here, we can never truly trust any state to do what is in our best interests—only what is in their best interests—most of the time.
Anyone who says different is LYING to you!
Damon is writing live from Paris at the COP 21 negotiations, where he is representing the indigenous people of the Caribbean.