And so it begins…..


June 4th, 2007

Friday night as I was packing to leave for Germany my housemate asked me if I wanted a lift to the airport. I replied that I was getting the train to which is response was “So you are flying from Birmingham”. Again I said that I was getting the train and again his presumption was that I was flying, “Oh, your getting the train to Heathrow”. When he finally seemed to grasp that I meant that I was getting the train all the way to Germany a look of horror crossed his face! “Why?” seemed to be the only response that he could muster.

Despite the fact that living with me means having to deal with me following him around turning off all the lights, changing all his light bulbs and giving disapproving looks when he drives to Sainsburys this just appeared to be just one step too far. He just couldn’t grasp why I would choose to get the train rather than fly. To me this was just a timely reminder of how far we still have to go in tackling climate change. It is one think talking, but distinctly another acting.

Rachel leading the workshop at the World Can't Wait event in London on June 2nd

And it was with all these thoughts in my head that I left Leamington very early on Saturday morning with Emily and Tinashe to head to Germany for the G8 meeting, via London where we gave a short workshop at the World Can’t Wait rally that was being held at Archbishops Park. It was a great opportunity to bring the Climate justice message to a more development oriented crowd. Many were interested in the issues and keen to support the campaign.

Unfortunately we were unable to stay long at the rally as we headed straight to Waterloo to jump on the Eurostar to Brussels. After a couple of hours in Brussels it was back on the train to Cologne and then on to the overnight train to Rostock, arriving around 8:00am.

Having been woken up on the train at 4:00am by a text message from my sister telling me of the violence the previous evening it was no surprise to find a huge police presence waiting for us. However, after a quick glance at the papers it was straight to the hotel to drop off bags and then back into town to start work! Presentation number one for Tinashe was speaking on on the panel at the Climate Forum organised by Campaign Against Climate Change and BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany).

The event, attended by around 60 people, included speakers from the Green and Left Parties in Germany and also a Professor from a local University. Tinashe did great speaking passionately about the impact that climate change is already having in Southern Africa and the need for urgent action. After the panel it was straight on to an interview with Indymedia which allowed Tinashe to stress again why he was in Germany and the need for action to tackle both climate change and poverty.

Back at the hotel we were able to check in and have a well deserved and distinctly blissful rest – but not for long! With press work lined up for Tinashe this week we managed to squeeze in an hour of preparation before heading out for something to eat – in itself a challenge as between us we have little German. However, with a bit of guess work we managed to order and took great pleasure in getting back to the hotel in time for a reasonably early night.

In terms of policy there is little to report so far. Much of the media is dominated by the events of Saturday evening. However there are lots of peaceful protests and events planned for the rest of the week as different groups try to bring their messages to the fore – hopefully we will be one of them.

We will let you know how we get on!

 

Tinashe (second from right) on the panel at the Climate Forum

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