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Climate Camp Grangemouth: local and global solidarity


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In this blog our Jess puts her Climate Camp Scotland hat on and reflects on this year's upcoming camp!

How to be here as well as everywhere? How to talk about threats to local livelihoods, to local health, and the destruction of lives globally, all as part of one struggle?

They are questions that most people organising for climate justice keep coming back to. It can feel like being in a room with a 360 degree screen an trying to look at it all at once. We worry about the focus being too narrow, other times about it being too broad - losing sight of the lives most impacted.

What's important to remember, I think, is that there was never just one person in that room. No one can work locally and globally at the same time, but movements definitely can, and must. It's a layered, dynamic kind of organising that can only happen through a constant nourishing of relationships.

In just under one week, this year's Climate Camp Scotland begins. It will take place in Grangemouth, where petrochemical giant NEOS runs Scotland's worst polluting site, with climate emissions of 2,752,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2020. INEOS is owned by Jim Ratcliffe, who consistently ranks as one of the richest people in the UK (although he now he lives in the tax haven of Monaco), but very little wealth reaches the local community, long exposed to alarming pollution, and experiencing high levels of child poverty.

INEOS also uses the site to import fracked gas from the US, endangering the health of communities there. All of this makes Grangemouth a prime example of a climate sacrifice zone, causing harm on a global and local level.

It also makes it imperative for conversations about the future to take place there, inviting locals and workers to tell their stories and dare to imagine a different future. It doesn't however, mean that the focus stays in one places. In order to even begin breaking the power of companies like INEOS, communities impacted by environmental destruction around the world have to share their experiences, and lead the way.

As part of the Climate Camp Grangemouth programme we will hear from Kurdish youth organisers and queer Indian climate activists. We'll hear about the Russian destruction of Ukranian land and engage in discussions about the abolition of borders, fuel poverty and what an indepedence movement fron the ground up might look like. As I type, I'm exchanging messages with anti-fracking activists in Pennsylvania, where INEOS gets its fracked gas from. The climate will be opened by Leonidas Iza, president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador.

It's very much an open-ended path, this kind of multi-voice, multi-layered organising, but it may also be the only possible way of tackling climate collapse with justice at its centre.

We hope you'll join us.

Climate Camp Grangemouth runs 12-17th July with the exact site announced the morning of the camp. Sign up to attend HERE.

Below you'll find a selection of books to frame environmental struggles about justice and international solidarity.

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