John Englart

John Englart

Citizen journalist at No Fibs
John Englart has always had a strong social and environmental focus and over the past 10 years climate change science, climate policy and climate protest have become an increasingly important and primary focus of his work as a citizen journalist.
John Englart
I am involved in various Moreland-based community groups including Sustainable Fawkner where I blog on local and sustainability issues, Climate Action Moreland and Moreland Bicycle Users Group. I am also a member of Friends of the Earth, off and on, since 1976, and wrote the contribution on the Rides Against Uranium in the 1970s for the Friends of the Earth Australia book to mark the 30-year anniversary of FoE – 30 Years of Creative Resistance.
The symbol of Peace for Paris unfurled in Nantes during the observance of 1 minute of silence, 16 November 2015

The symbol of Peace for Paris unfurled in Nantes during the observance of 1 minute of silence, 16 November 2015

My journey to the UN climate conference in Paris has involved staying in the regional city of Nantes for a week. Too short a period to do it justice, I fear.

The atrocities committed in Paris have already overshadowed my stay in this green and progressive city.

I attended a meeting in Nantes last Friday discussing ‘Global warming: who profits?’ It was part of a month long program of debates, films, a concert, artistic performances and expositions. I was made welcome, though my high school french vocabulary from 45 years ago is nothing but a few words. I followed the initial visual presentation in bits and pieces being familiar with the content, if not the language.

The meeting broke up into focus groups to discuss and answer the question posed. Initially I sat outside the framework but was then invited to join one of the focus groups with people with more English skills than I possess of French. So in a fashion I contributed to the discussion.

Of course the events of that night were overtaken by the horror of the terrorist attacks in Paris which I have already reported on. That night Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency for France, threedays of mourning, and a ban on unauthorised gatherings in the streets of Paris. It was left up to regional and city governments whether to implement the same ban in other cities.

A protest against racism had already been organised in Nantes for Saturday. This went ahead. Johanna Rolland, Mayor of Nantes issued a statement saying events planned for the weekend had been authorised by the prefecture, adding “I wish the organizers of the events will devote a moment of reflection for the victims of the attacks.”

The protest attracted over 500 people and became an opportunity to share the pain of the Paris attacks. See Presse Ocean report: Attentats à Paris 500 personnes au rassemblement place du Bouffay à Nantes

In one moving moment one young woman at the protest told of the death of her friend, Remi, who was murdered in the Bataclan theatre.

A mass at Nantes Cathedral on the Sunday evening attracted 1500 people (Report).

On monday at midday a minutes silence was observed widely by Nantais in solidarity with the victims of the attacks and their famillies. (Report)

The pain of Paris was felt in Nantes, a microcosm of the mood across France.

Scenes from Paris