The Northeast Climate Confluence

July 7, 2008 at 4:37 am 2 comments

This is very exciting. From July 30th to August 3rd, an event called The Northeast Climate Confluence will be taking place at the Epworth Camp and Retreat Center in High Falls, New York (a “center point” of the Northeast). It is a great opportunity for learning by doing – plus it is a cooperative gathering of hundreds of individuals in an attempt to share knowledge, coordinate, and take action. Here’s a brief description from the website:

THE CONFLUENCE is a week long event where we will come together to share ideas and skills, strengthen our relationships, and create solutions to take care of our basic needs. There will be workshops, performances, trainings and strategy sessions about the issues affecting our communities and our planet, from prisons and police brutality to food sovereignty, health care and disaster relief. It will also include a day of action in coordination with similar gatherings around the world.

Here’s more, taken from the goals section of the website:

The Northeast Climate Confluence aims to kick-start a regional disaster response network. We mean ‘disaster’ in a very broad sense; we want to be better able to respond to both ‘natural’ disasters and the unnatural disasters that people face in their communities every day. The main elements of this disaster response network might include local food networks, accessible health care projects, autonomous energy, first-responder trainings, access to land and housing, and networks of defense from violent authorities (such as police, prisons, and immigration enforcement). We’re going to need to figure out what to do if a major storm hits the Northeast and causes flooding and displacement. We need to be able to feed ourselves as oil becomes scarce and gas and food prices rise even more. We need to do everything we can to reverse global warming. We need to link struggles, get off the grid, stop being dependent on systems that threaten our lives and hurt our communities, and create a world based on respect and justice.

The confluence is making a particular point to address climate justice within its intersections of other oppressions – including racism, sexism, classism, and so on. On top of that, a major part of the organizing effort is aimed at youth via The Youth Track:

We, young people, the transformation of tomorrow, are one of the most important and most powerful forces of social change. As police continue to harass, beat, and imprison us, as our schools become more and more like prisons, as we are shipped off to die in senseless wars overseas, it is more important than ever for us to come together and figure out how to create strong communities that can resist all forms of oppression.

An important part of the confluence will be the Youth Track, a series of workshops & skill-shares organized by and for youth (ages 13-18 ) that will strengthen leadership skills and build networks of support and solidarity. Any young person or youth group can propose or organize an event at the confluence. Your ideas & knowledge are very important. Our generation will see the worst effects of environmental destruction, and even if we can’t vote, we have the power to act!

Read more about The Youth Track here. Additionally, the Confluence wants to make sure that all peoples can make this trip, and money/free housing and camping/food will be provided to those who can not provided it themselves. No one will be turned away because of financial reasons.

I’m planning on going to this – and please pass on this information to anyone you feel would be interested. Additionally, if anyone is from Western Massachusetts, I helped set up an interest meeting for anyone considering going up or who wants to make arrangements on how to get up. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 15th, in Amherst (MA), at the Robert Jones Library from 5-8 PM. Hope to see you there!


Entry filed under: Anti-Oppression and Free Schools, General Free Schooling, Learning, Related To Free Schooling, Teaching. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lydia  |  July 7, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Good job setting up that meeting, Brian! This sounds like a great conference.

  • 2. Tabitha  |  July 10, 2008 at 3:17 am

    Boo, it’s when I have my last days of work and it’s in an unconnected place anyway. Boooo. If you want to talk about sharing rides with those folks at the meeting and those who can’t make it, seems to be working a little more than when I last left off.


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