Climate Camp Cymru

IssueDecember 2008 - January 2009
Feature by Yoann Ig

Something is stirring on the hillsides and in the valleys. The whisper of Climate Camp Cymru 2009 is becoming a buzz.

For the first time at Kingsnorth there was a Wales Neighbourhood at a UK Climate Camp. Previously, Wales activists had joined with either our friends from the West Midlands or, together with Bristol, all formed the “Westside Hood”.

Now environmental justice activists are reaching out to a wider peace and justice movement in Wales, and extending an invitation to grassroots and cultural organisations and networks.

Climate Camp Cymru will be a bilingual event, as will the process leading up to it. Already Climate Camp Cymru has engaged with Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraig (The Welsh Language Society), with participants in the process attending Cymdeithas’ annual general meeting on 25 October.

In a rally following the AGM, six members of Cymdeithas were arrested for painting pro-Welsh language slogans on the walls of the new Assembly Government building in Aberystwyth: Drwg iawn! A series of regional Climate Camp Cymru organising meetings will start in Bangor on 29 November and proceed via Wrexham (6 December) to Aberystwyth (9 and 11 December).

A national meeting will take place in Cardiff on 24 January 2009. This day-long meeting will include feedback from Wales participants in previous Climate Camps and nonviolent direct action training. After that, almost everything about Climate Camp Cymru remains up for discussion: how the ongoing process will be organised, the message the event will be designed to convey, potential locations, duration and associated actions… Help is still needed with organising and facilitating the national and regional meetings.

A Climate Camp Cymru participant said: “Once we’ve got volunteers, we can gather proposed agenda items, sort something out and send to the email list as a proposal. Don’t worry if you’re not confident, you’ll learn along the way: none of us are professionals; new participants are the most welcome.”

Climate Camp Cymru represents the desire to build on previous climate actions in Wales. Each Climate Camp has been based on four key themes: education, direct action, sustainable living, and building a movement to effectively tackle climate change, both resisting climate crimes and developing sustainable solutions.

Climate Camps have always been the result of the endeavours of small working groups. These are run on the basis of trusting one another. So, perhaps the best way to get involved is to join a working group. They are open to anyone to join and contribute. So come on – Ewch Amdani! – let’s get Climate Camp Cymru together!

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