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""Planet or death!" chanted Bolivia's leftwing president, Evo Morales, to a crowd of 20,000 people. "We will be victorious!" the crowds answered back, waving rainbow-coloured, chequered Andean indigenous flags.
Morales was officially inaugurating the first international "people's conference" on climate change – the grassroots alternative to last year's failed United Nations talks in Copenhagen.
The meeting in the city of Cochabamba has attracted people from more than 125 countries, although many delegates from Africa, Europe and India were unable to come because of the travel chaos caused by the Icelandic volcano. The meeting has no direct bearing on the UN climate talks, which continue this year, but is billed as a venue for the grassroots movements to put pressure on governments to act on climate change.
Domingo Lechon, climate justice co-ordinator from Friends of the Earth Mexico, said: "Cochabamba represents a unique opportunity for popular demands to be adopted by governments. We will use this new people's agenda as a rallying call to mobilise movements of affected peoples, indigenous peoples, peasant farmers, trade unions and women to dismantle corporate power and force our governments into action."
Hat tip Rimu on frogblog