By Chuck Baclagon

Climate change challenges us to rethink and build a new world using the lens of equity and sustainability. This entails the protracted work of changing our personal lifestyles and raising the awareness of others to take action individually and in coordination with the many other struggles that are fighting against the system that brought the climate crisis.

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We exist on a particular juncture in history. The prospect of our collective extinction as a specie, forces us to endure and challenges us to strive harder than before to speak truth to power, highlight the alternatives, and demonstrate possible solution to the current crisis by bringing out counter-narratives to the ones that we have been accustomed to like the capitalist-consumer myth of infinite growth in a finite planet.

Bas Umali of Onsite Infoshop.

Bas Umali of Onsite Infoshop. Photo by: Fread De Mesa

This is the reason why we joined the ecological forum entitled Climate Crisis and Direct Action at the Bulacan State University, Bustos Campus, last February 23 where I was able to speak alongside friends and comrades from Onsite Infoshop, Etniko Bandido and Food Not Bombs Baliwag to challenge students to join the struggle by becoming climate activists that are doing direct action to confront systems and structures that brought forth the current ecological crisis.

Chuck Baclagon of East Asia

Chuck Baclagon of East Asia. Photo by: Fread De Mesa

In the forum I was able to explore the theme of climate change as a being both a crisis and an opportunity to build a socially just and ecologically sustainable world. While the next speaker Bas Umali of Onsite Infoshop explored the theme of responding to the ecological crisis through direct action as a way of to undermining the current system and showing it to be unnecessary and harmful. Lastly, Chris De Vera of Etniko Bandido gave practical examples of how direct action can be integrated into our individual lifestyles and our communities, these actions involve urban gardening, do-it-yourself solar installations, cycling among others.

Chris De Vera of Etniko Bandido

Chris De Vera of Etniko Bandido. Photo by: Fread De Mesa

Baliwag Food Not Bombs gave away freshly cooked vegan food at the event as their way of taking direct action to show how a myriad corporate and government priorities are skewed to allow hunger to persist in the midst of abundance.

The forum served as a venue for discourse and dialogue that could pave the way for developing pathways for the participants to develop their own strategy of taking climate action.