I saw the Inspiring Action video, and I am still remembering how intense that day was in the middle of the forest destruction - see 1:22 of the video. It was a Friday 14th October, 2005, in the north of Argentina, in the morning, in our way to an indigenous celebration.
We organized a small celebration with indigenous people and the villagers of a small town in Pizarro (Salta province, at northwestern of Argentina). We celebrated the help of the people because we succeed to protect the Pizarro reserve, after a very intense campaign in which we, all together, the Jaguars campaigners (a motorbike activists that stopped bulldozers in the forest), cyberactivists, artists and even Diego Maradona took part. We stopped the ambitions of soya lords to destroy this priceless natural reserve of the Chaco forest for their business.
Suddenly, in our way to attend the celebration, we saw this scene of destruction. We were sadly astonished, I have to say it was a clear wake up call to us. Something like “lets celebrate this small victory, but be aware that it will be a long way”. I urgently took the walkietalkie and called my colleagues to register all this, because it was an illegal “forest clearance” and we knew that police people would come shortly to get rid of us. The bad signal, all the ashes in the middle and the stress to be in a “lawless” route was pretty intense. At the same time, a couple of volunteers asked me: when will all this be finished?. “No idea, mate”, it was my automathic answer and I kept calling to my other colleagues because I was worried that the authorities would move us along... and soon!
Finally, we were able to register all the images before the police arrived, and we exposed all of the destruction to the national and international media. Afterwards, we continued our travels to the indigenous reserve for the celebration. In the travel, the volunteers continued asked this: “when all this will finished?”. Never had the answer for them, just share the wish that some day we will witness a big change.
We went to the celebration with the indigenous people and afterward, we took the next step: make the forest law, a critical legal tool to solve the forest issue and stop all this madness, it was a long campaign that took us 2006, 2007 and 2008. In 2007, we raised the attention and collective action of one million and a half people and very recently in last February 2009, the law come into force.
Of course, we still have a long way to go... but today, when I saw video of that day again, I said to myself: “we have made lots of progress, and still lots still to be done”, and I realized that this campaign was about people giving their voice for the Earth and that Greenpeace, without the people, is nothing. So, Happy Day, Mother Earth, we keep the promise for a green and peaceful future.