Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Praying for the summit

Yesterday Joyce and I had a chance to meet with a couple of hunger strikers, Anna and Mathieu. She is from Australia and he is from France. They are fasting in order to influence the Summit talks. They have been on a fast for several months, originally it was a fruit juice fast, now it is water only. While they do not claim religious affiliations, they speak forcefully about creating positive energy and moral power through their fast. I quite like that.

Fasting is one of the classic means of prayer, and has been used to terrific effect to bring about siginificant social changes. Gandhi fasted, so did MLK. Among my own circle of friends, the members of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers fasted in their fight against Taco Bell: and they won!

Anna and Mathieu invite us to join them Thursday on a 24 hour fast.

But we had a very interesting discussion with a man who is a UK based ”climate steward” with A Rocha. Brendan Bolles spoke about how best to get the message about our need to change across to the world. Part of his responsibilities include posting ”Prayer points” on the internet. One of the things he pointed out is that fierce rhetoric alienates more people than it attracts. He reminded me that it is better to get many people interested in doing something rather than making people feel guilty and disempowered because they are ”only making token gestures.” That attitude can be very damaging. All efforts to engage in the effort to live more sustainably are heartily welcomed. Few of us are able to engage in hunger strikes or are able to cut out all air travel, or live without automobiles. But we can change a few light bulbs, we can walk more, we can cut back on meat consumption a bit. We can find ways to pick up litter.

Fast if you can, cut back where it is possible, and in all things, pray. Pray for the world, pray for all that live on the earth. Remember the poorest and most vulnerable. Your prayer will make a world of difference here at Copenhagen.

Certainly the summit is coming to a ”crunch” time. All of the NGO representatives have had to get re-credentialed and the allotment of passes has been reduced to 10 per delegation. There are some frustrated reps hanging about.

Last night the Østerport traqin station was closed because of a bomb scare. Fortunately there was no explosion, the things was defused. But it meant we had to walk three times the distance to our dinner (after having just met the hunger strikers…).


Brother William OFM said...

Hello Brother Clarke

Thanks for being there!

Just curious, ss the Franciscans International not present at the Summit? Any other Franciscans are there? The FI was there in Rio way back then

Brother Clark said...

Hi William

We didn't get to the Bella Center, and we didn't meet any reps from FI. Hard to believe they AREN'T here, but don't know for sure

Markdowd said...


I am so glad you met the hunger strikers....inspiring and wonderful people....and thank you for your time Monday in making our wee film-ette which has been watched by many , including Vision TV in Canada. Weather here in London is 2 degrees...maybe when we film our wrap piece tomorrrow,on the summit, we can "cheat" if it is snowing and make it look like Copenhagen.

Blessings! Mark Dowd