Pause and Transform

I recently attended a Zoom meeting hosted by the Climate Mobilization Network. I was interested because I’ve been following the Climate Mobilization Network’s work for years.

They articulate what has not been working and that they are looking into different strategies that might be successful. I was especially interested to discover their emphasis on Mutual Aid programs.

This collective visioning, movement incubation and learning gathering will equip you with space for reflection, new ideas, inspiration, and next steps to participate in this new campaign.

Together we will build relationships and explore:

  • How survival and mutual aid programs can grow the movement
  • New, creative approaches to taking action against fossil fuels
  • Ways to integrate healing into our work
  • And how to create space for reflection, intentionality and strategic clarity

Why We Decide to Pause and Transform our Strategy

  • Congressional failure to take meaningful action on climate
  • The slow pace of local climate programs where policy change is severely limited by what’s considered politically possible
  • Rising inequality amid continued neoliberalism
  • Escalating climate disasters that are hitting global and US-based frontline communities the hardest and will continue accelerating rapidly!
  • And widespread cultural and generational concern about climate change has not yet been tapped into effectively by a mass movement.

Climate Mobilization Network

Movement Analysis

We reached out to more than 20 leaders across the Just Transition movement to guide our strategic planning process – we asked them about what learnings, gaps, and critical takeaways they saw emerging in their movement work. The opportunities that interviewees identified our movement needs to build on included:

  • We need more support for escalating, disruptive direct actions
  • We need work building a movement of movements
  • We need local organizing & base building as a foundation for larger mass movement
  • We need solutions outside of government
  • We need a more coherent, clear, and unified narrative strategy and message
  • We need more training on healing and community care as the center of our movements – and a politics of empathy and love at the center of our movements

Climate Mobilization Network

Climate Mobilization’s 2023 Pilot Programs: Political Education on Climate Survival, Healing Justice, Movement History and the Need for Escalated Direct Action

After processing our movement analysis, as well as the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges of our current focus campaigns and Network – and realizing the need for more radical and inventive approaches to addressing the climate emergency – we decided to build for our pilot program to focus on building out a transformational, motivational and commitment-driven political education training program that builds understanding, alignment and action around the need for climate survival programs and escalated, coordinated, and creative direct action. 

This includes: 

  • Direct action strategy and tactics from Indigenous struggles, from the Global South & from history, encouraging participants to develop their emergent ideas
  • Why and how to start mutual aid based climate survival programs – pulling case studies for effective models of sustained community resilience 
  • Mass movement history  & state of current climate / need for climate survival 
  • Healing Justice organizing practices addressing burnout, trauma, climate grief at the root cause; integrating organizing and healing justice approaches into one, making climate organizing a more joyous, community-oriented, accessible, and sustainable practice for all peoples to get involved in – with a focus on building out leadership of resilience of frontline communities 

Why This: Political education is movement connective tissue and a key resource for organizers to become more resilient, effective and reflective. Climate organizing in the US is particularly disconnected from the important resources offered by movement history rooted in global context.

Why Now: This program addresses several emergent movement needs:

  • Burnout is at an all-time high, a signal to reflect, rebuild resilience, shift organizing practices across the movement to center healing, and re-root our organizations in movement history. 
  • Climate groups’ interest in direct action remains high, while increasing numbers of groups working on other issues will be trying to add climate programs. We will provide a container for this work. 
  • We’ve also heard concerns that the direct action toolbox and strategy need to be expanded and strengthened.

This program will forge common ground among a burgeoning climate survival movement that brings together climate and non-climate groups. Alignment and political education around direct action, healing justice and mass movement history is an unmet need across sectors; the training will also provide an appealing, approachable framework for groups new to climate work to launch climate survival programs. The focus is on moving people to launch direct action and climate survival programs, change their organizing practices (to incorporate a climate survival focus and become more healing justice centered), and access improved resilience in the work they are already doing.

Climate Mobilization’s New Direction for 2023

Here are the slides from the presentation

#NoCarbonPipelines #NoCO2Pipelines #MutualAid

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