A hundred people, twenty different languages and one main cause

1 August 2013

Written by Maruska Mileta, Summer Camp participant

A hundred people, twenty different languages and one main cause; a week of network bulding throughout the globe and supporting Young Friends of the Earth Norway in their fight against oil exploration in the beautiful and valuable Lofoten Islands. We demand from the politicians – keep the oil in the soil!

We arrived in Oslo on Sunday and spent our first day there getting to know each other, learning about the oil industry and policy in Norway and mapping dirty energy around the world. The politicians promote Norwegian oil as the cleanest oil and the country as being green oriented, but the facts prove the opposite. Because of forty years of oil drilling in Norway, 2 percent of the worlds CO2 emissions come from this country.

Today is day four. We start every day bright and early, using every minute to learn from each other and to make long lasting connections. The days are filled with skillsharing sessions and exchanging experiences. Our friends from Environmental Rights Action (ERA) from Nigeria brought closer to us the situation in their country and their long fight against oil extraction from the last bits of preserved nature. Their struggle goes beyond environmental activism as they face human rights violations, by the companies trying to make as much money as possible from the environment, no matter what the cost is. We also shared many inspiring activism related stories from the UK, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Croatia, Bosnia...Danny from No Dash For Gas told the story how 21 of them occupied a gas power station in the UK for a week, how they were afterwards sued by the energy company EDF for 5 million pounds and how they defeated the system in the end. Kiera from Save the Arctic initiative told a very emotional story of the struggles and suffering of indigenous people in Canada because of the greedy and dirty fossil fuels industry. Every single story from the participants of the summer camp is unique and driven with pure passion for our vulnerable nature.

Being here together with young people from almost every continent puts things really into perspective and you realise that even though we face different challenges and fight in various ways, the end goal connects us all. And that is why we are here this week, why we have traveled so far away from our homes - there is no Earth number two, tomorrow is today and the time to give back what we have borrowed from our children is now. We are becoming bigger and bigger and we will protect our planet country by country, island by island, tree by tree.