Beyond the Classroom, University of Maryland
Spring 2017 Series on "People Power: Activism for Social Change!"
presente the award-winning documentary:
“Not Without Us!” (Global, 2016)
Not Without Us follows seven multi-generational, grassroots activists from around the world as they head to Paris for the 21st session of United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as the COP 21. Building on the momentum of the People’s Climate March in New York in 2014, the Paris mobilizations in December 2015 were slated to be civil societies’ largest show of force yet.
Activists, especially those on the frontline, wanted world leaders to feel the pressure. After two decades of failed climate negotiations - from Kyoto to Copenhagen to Cancún - the agreement to confront catastrophic climate change needed to be comprehensive, legally binding, and fair.
Tragically, two weeks before COP 21, coordinated terrorist attacks threw Paris into a state of emergency. Security trumped liberty, clamping down on all activist gatherings. The COP21, however, went forward as planned. The Paris Accords were indeed signed by all 196 nations, and touted by mainstream media as a historic success.
But what kind of accord was adopted? An agreement that will embrace all of humanity, or one full of non-binding proclamations tailored to profit multi-national corporations? Will the suppression of the activists allow governments and corporate interests to rule the agreements, or will the people have their voices heard?
Ultimately, the question remains: can the COP21 agreement stop catastrophic climate change? Or, perhaps we need to call upon our most powerful renewable natural resource: the will of the people.
• "A must-see portrait of frontline communities and activists who gathered in Paris in December 2015, fighting for the strongest possible climate deal while fearlessly exposing its limits. These are the voices defending the land and water in some of the most threatened places around the world, protecting the planet in the process -- and it is the rare film that gives them such a compelling platform." -Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine
• "The network news displayed elected leaders at COP21 in Paris, but it was the hundreds-of-thousands of individual people around the world who propelled COP21 forward. 'Not Without Us' is a powerful film about those individual people, one of which is the Alternative Nobel-winning Nnimmo Bassey who tells Shell Oil and the governments around the world complicit in climate change, 'You Can't Hide Your Crime.' Films like this will make sure that's true." -Gary Wockner, author and environmental activist.