Thursday, December 20, 2012

Breakout Sessions: Approaches for Activism and CHANGE!

Which approaches to bringing about change make sense to me, and how concretely will I be involved in the days ahead? How can I get involved with key activist groups and make a real contribution?


With participating group . . .

Why divestment? In short: it just doesn’t make sense for universities to invest in a system that will leave their students no livable planet to use their degrees on, or for pension funds to invest in corporations that will ruin the world we plan to retire in. The one thing we know the fossil fuel industry cares about is money. Universities, pension funds, and churches invest a lot of it. If we start with these local institutions and hit the industry where it hurts — their bottom line — we can get their attention and force them to change. This was a key part of how the world ended the apartheid system in South Africa, and we hope it can have the same effect on the climate crisis.

Read more about "McKibben,, Outlaw Fossil Fuel Companies, and the Divestment Strategy "

Pressuring Our Government

With Stop the Frack Attack on Illinois and others . . .

This workshop will discuss how citizens can pressure their governments on these major causes of the climate crisis. It will include an overview of energy production, transportation and big agriculture; some of the related issues in each of those areas; some of the bigger groups dealing with this issues at the Chicago city, Cook County, Illinois State and Federal government levels; and strategies and tactics for dealing with them at those and the international levels.

Participants will break up into action-oriented groups focused on each of those three causes and come back with proposals on how to address them. Read full session description here.

Direct Action

With participating group Rainforest Action Network and others . . .

Moving a campaign forward through direct action:

Direct Action can be a crucial part of the success of a campaign, but it must be used strategically. A successful action can help build a power base, shift public perception, and put pressure on power holders. We’ll be joined by several seasoned organizers to explore how to use direct action strategicaly to move a campaign. We will examine the Tar Sands and Keystone XL direct action campaigns, as well as others, to examine how to use an escalation of tactics to move your opponent. We’ll explore why and when to use direct action, what makes an action “stick,” and how to organize a successful action.

Read full session description here.

Law and the Fight to Save the Planet

What does the legal face of the fight to save the planet look like?

Speakers will address different tactics used by activists in the struggle against climate crisis and those used by the government against them, and the role of the legal industry in protecting polluters, asking too: Is “environmental law” really a discipline? The discussion will begin with a general address by each speaker based on their experiences under current law, and will develop into an open discussion between attendees and presenters. Moderation and scheduling will be provided by the Chicago-Kent National Lawyers Guild.

Read full session description here.

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