Report from Durban South Africa

Conclusions and Horizons
pic February 12, 2012

“The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.” Nelson Mandela “but here the heart’s pulsing contract is made clear: a hundred years from now we will all be naked” Breyten Breytenbach The global majorities face a horizon of catastrophe, and will have no choice in the coming years but to meet it head on. In the meantime, many are trying to escape from the realities of our times with subjective decisions and arguments. If the global majority…

Apartheid: Past, Present and Future
apartheid February 11, 2012

COP17 is history. But how will it be remembered and understood? Some hoped that its legacy would be truth and reconciliation. But as the dust of growing deserts settles, it is looking more and more like global apartheid. These are fighting words. After so many made unimaginable sacrifices to overcome the South African apartheid regime, allegations that apartheid is not over, or has returned, cannot be made lightly. But they cannot be ignored either. Ten years ago, none less than…

Six Feet of the Climate
sixfeet December 21, 2011

Africa has been the foundation of the capitalist world system. The stone that the builders refused, it has been consistently excluded from the wealth built with its resources, but not in its image. But this tragedy of biblical proportions is not over. The imperial countries have returned to Africa once more, armed with the same power plundered from its lands and peoples. This time they come not only to dig up but to bury. The economic and political logic behind…

Fourteen Days that Burned the World
durban December 19, 2011

As John Reed began his reflections on the Russian revolution, we can say of these reports that they are “a slice of intensified history.” While the characters in this play are not new, here they perform a world system in its final acts, and a world history at a dramatic climax. The first enclosure of the commons culminated in Durban with an enclosure of the world; and the first colony was crowned here with the colonization of the global climate….

Communique from COP
killsme December 12, 2011

This pockmarked daybreak Dawn gripped by night, This is not that much-awaited light For which friends set out filled with hope – Faiz Ahmed Faiz Many arrived in Durban with high hopes. They hoped that the sheer urgency of climate change, especially in Africa, would persuade world leaders and their representatives to take the necessary action to avert global catastrophe. They hoped that dissent inside the meetings would pressure the big polluters to atone for their sins. And they hoped…

The Clash of Globalizations
now December 7, 2011

There are two kinds of globalization in the world today. There is the globalization of the 1%, the globalization of power and money; of politicians, transnational corporations, and the kingdom of experts who do their bidding. And there is the globalization of the 99%, diverse and diffuse, from grassroots masses to massive NGOs, which converges for moments of tenuous but hopeful solidarity, to promote programs of both reform and revolution. They are clashing here in Durban, at a meeting which…

Location, Location, Location
africa December 6, 2011

To understand what is happening in Durban today, especially if you are in another part of the world, it is essential to take a step back to understand the local, national and continental context. It would be unwise to assume that there is already a common understanding upon which these reports are being read. Therefore I will try here to provide the foundation for such a common understanding, and the result is the longest report of the series. Here we…

The Movement Has Begun
dancing December 2, 2011

On December 1st, the Democratic Left Front, a movement of movements based in Johannesburg, South Africa, inaugurated its arrival in Durban with an all-day conference on ecosocialism at the University of KwaZulu Natal. This event was a turning point for me personally, and as I will outline below, a powerful message to us all that an ecosocialist movement is not only growing on the horizon, but has already begun. The objectives of the conference were outlined in the program: “Understand…

Welcome to the Beginning and the End
cop17 November 27, 2011

Welcome to the beginning and the end of the world. This is the historic gauntlet of 2011: Unprecedented demonstrations of popular power have inspired a common sense of hope and promise on every continent. Yet if the beginning seems near for humanity, global ecology is simultaneously disintegrating toward a point of no return. Social movements for justice are growing fast, but natural ecosystems are in even more rapid decline. This paradox culminates today in the city of Durban, South Africa,…