Grassroots to global assemblies

Grassroots to Global is reaching out from Scotland, seeking to join movements rebuilding our collective ability to listen, learn and make decisions.

We need a collective process that can create a global molten moment of real political change.

Governments across the world are part of the system driving the crises we face. Instead of simply pushing for a change of politicians or parties, we need a deep shift in the way we make our collective decisions.

Well-informed, well-facilitated, emotionally-intelligent peoples and citizens assemblies can be used at the local, national and international levels to make rational, caring decisions.

Most people, when given the space, prioritise care for each other over wealth and status. In a sense, this is simply the global north recovering ways of making collective decisions long practiced by indigenous peoples. 

Assembly

Grassroots to Global is working to help learn from, develop, and share inclusive, emotionally intelligent assemblies, and to connect with all who seek to shift power into the hands of the 100 percent.

Scotland is going to be hosting the COP 26 in November 2021. We want to offer ideas and proposals for a way of working that reflects the priorities of all people, not just those with power.

Historically, Scotland experienced internal colonisation during the ‘clearances’, when communities were cleared off their lands, forcing people to search for work in industrialising cities, or to become colonisers in other continents themselves.

In Scotland, movements based on community, social justice, and global justice have sought to reverse this process.

Recently Extinction Rebellion Scotland occupied the Scottish Parliament to hold a symbolic citizens assembly, and - with others - demanded and secured a climate citizens assembly to decide the way forward.

Communities

This began in late 2020, but as it progressed, we saw governments’ tendency to seek to use it to rubber stamp its views. Based on experience, we believe that the COP will also be incapable of undertaking a genuine, effective process that can tackle the climate crisis. 

We need a collective process that can create a global molten moment of real political change.

During the first lockdown, our interviews with more than 100 people across Scotland revealed that: 

·   People value care, health and community so much more than wealth and status

·   People deplore the vicious inequality of a system that pays key workers the least, and 

·   People can see that radical transformation can happen overnight if the political will is there

The Grassroots to Global process is reaching out from Scotland, seeking to join with other movements working to rebuild our collective ability to listen, learn and make key decisions together. ‘We the people’ need to decide the way forward, in a way that leaves no one behind.

We are already organising assemblies at local and national level here in Scotland, but the drivers of this crisis also need to be dealt with at a global level.

It’s essential that it is we ordinary people, whose only vested interests are in living peacefully with our families and communities, who get to decide how we deal with our worst social and environmental crises, not career politicians or captured institutions.

Reworlding

So we’re reaching out to work with others towards creating a transparent, humane and responsive Global Citizens Assembly in 2022, after COP26 has failed. 

One proposal it might consider is a ‘Pause: Reset’ two-year preparation for a two-year pause in all economic activity except that needed to ensure people's health and wellbeing.

This could immediately raise the quality of life for billions, drop emissions off a cliff edge, and put the brakes on our economies so we can restart on the basis that my well-being depends on ensuring, not on exploiting, your well-being.  

We need a collective process that can create a global molten moment of real political change.

‘Reworlding’ is our first international gathering, from the 23rd to 29th of May this year - we hope you’ll join us in helping to assemble a politics of wholeness.

This Author

Justin Kenrick is a member of Grassroots to Global. 

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