Students organise for sustainability

Issue 

Organisers are expecting about 400 people to descend on Adelaide for the Students of Sustainability (SoS) conference over July 4 – 8.

The conference is held annually for students and activists involved in environment and social justice movements. Over the four days, workshops will be held on topics as diverse as climate change, guerrilla gardening, Indigenous rights, campaigning for renewable energy on campus and many more.

SoS gives participants the confidence, practical skills and motivation needed to campaign for a cleaner and healthier Earth.

One highlight will be a workshop by Richard Downs, Alyawarr People’s Walk-off spokesperson, about the destructive impacts of the Northern Territory intervention on Indigenous communities and how his people walked off Ampilatwatja community in protest against it.

For many years, there have been strong links between the environment movement and the struggle for the rights of Indigenous people. Aboriginal elders will be guests of SOS, which coincides with a convergence in Alice Springs. Many people will attend the convergence after SOS to see the effects of the intervention first-hand.

There will also be a day of action on July 7; conference participants will be taken on a “nuclear scumbags tour” of Adelaide, with the aim of involving and informing the public about the role of major corporations in the destructive nuclear industry.

Resistance members attending SOS will hold three workshops: Sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty — Lessons from Cuba; Condoms, climate change and women’s rights; and Climate vs. Capitalism — Lessons from Cochabamba.

Gemma Weedall, a climate change activist and Resistance member from Adelaide, will be speak about her experience at the World Peoples’ conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in April.

“The global climate movement is growing at the moment and countries in Latin America are really taking a lead on pushing the radical solutions that are needed to stop climate change.

“The grassroots conference in Bolivia provided a powerful and inspirational alternative to the undemocratic and unproductive international climate negotiations that preceded it in Copenhagen”, Weedall said.

“SoS will be a chance for students involved in climate and social justice campaigns to get together and work out the best way forward for these campaigns.

“Linking up with and learning from international activists is very powerful, because these are global struggles and there are people just like us in all countries around the world trying to make change.

“Everyone who’s interested should come to SoS because we need to get organised, and the best way to stay motivated is to work alongside like-minded people.”

To register or find out more go to www.studentsofsustainability.org .

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