The Power of Youth, The Power of Song

82

The annual United Nations climate summit is about to get going again — COP17 (the 17th conference of parties) in Durban, South Africa. But before diving more into the UN side of things, much more fun to share is the news from the seventh Conference of Youth (COY7) that’s happening as I type.

COY is a special time for the youth climate movement every year as hundreds of youth from dozens of countries come together for 3 days building new relationships, sharing stories from the past year, learning from one another, and making plans the movement ahead. The conference typically has all the youthful energy you can imagine — as young people we know what’s at stake, deeply, and we pour our spirits into the work of building a movement and creating solutions. But this year, the level of energy has reached even greater levels than in the past.

How? Well, watch this…

The young people you see leading that song in the video just completed an overland journey starting in Nairobi, Kenya — the We Have Faith, Act Now, Climate Justice Caravan. Song is part of what sustained them through that long journey to be here, much the way song has been a driving, sustaining force in African social movements for decades, particularly the South African anti-apartheid movement.

Now that energy and power of song has united with the energy and power of youth at COY — a recipe for some beautiful movement building weeks to come.

We have our work cut out for us, no doubt — how to channel this people power into a force that can overcome the corporate influence holding the world back from the solutions required. We’ll have our first large show of people power here in Durban at an interfaith climate justice rally with Desmond Tutu tomorrow, the Sunday before the UN meetings commence.

And it’s not just here in Durban. We’re taking people power to radio stations worldwide this week — in more ways than one! Check out http://radiowave.350.org to listen to a new song titled “People Power” and join us in taking the movement to radio where you live (you’ll find the guide and resources you need there on the Radio Wave website).

More from Durban to come.