200 people on three large buses driving across the west of mexico over the past three days. Each day we stop three or more times to visit with the local community about their experiences with climate justice - actually more of their experiences with environmental destruction at the hands of transnationals corporations and the governments that are complicite in the oppression.
Their stories involved most often tears and fiery anger. Tears at the devestation and death that their people are living everyday; anger at the people responisble who don´t care at all.
We are welcomed as international delegates witnessing the horror and bringing their stories back to our communities all around the globe - the US, Canada, France and more. Last night we were welcomed to Magdelena with a roaring fiesta, 100 (what felt like thousands) of people waited at the bottom of a steep road to greet us. There were fireworks, banners, gifts, the loudest chants I´ve ever heard, smoke from pots of herbs and bark. We walked into the encampment with hugs and solidarity, having food and sleeping together under the stars. How priveledged I feel to be here now.
Magdelena is an encampment because the powers-that-be wish to build a super highway from Tiauana to the southern part of South America, going directly through Magdelena. These people would be displaced for a paltry sum of money, their land and dignity taken away by a massive thoroughfare for cheap goods. Also know as the NAFTA super highway, this road exemplifies what regular folks of MExico experience in a corporate-globalized world — forced aside with no discussion to make way to capital interests.
This morning, we woke up to the chill of the morning. Ate breakfast and spent the next hour dancing in the streets of the encampment. Then, business - a forum to describe the realities of the situation, an explanation of the caravan and what it is that the encampment seeks (tierra y libertad, por su puesta). We were treated to a bit of street theater, then some lunch, then back on our home - the bus - to exthusiastically discuss our experiences and share what our own struggles are at home.
Today, we are in Mexico City for the converging of most of the Via Campesina caravans. There is a large forum where the people will speak their truths and describe our role in Cancun. Later there is a march - an international mobilization - where we will demonstrate our power to make change and to empower our communities to overcome the forces of destruction.