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This poet from the Marshall Islands chanted loud and clear at #COP21

This poet from the Marshall Islands chanted loud and clear at #COP21

Plain and unmistakable words heard at COP21: “Tell Them We Are Nothing Without Our Islands”. It is the poem from Kathy Jetnil Kijiner which is recited before on previous meetings about global warming. But if it must be heard somewhere then it is at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference. The young and passionate poet is very clear: it goes wrong if we do not act now. With a rising sea level, she loses her land, the beautiful Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Kathy wrote an amazing blog about her background, doubts and her decision to come to Paris:

I’m going because I’m fighting for our home. I’m going because I have foreseen the loss and the sorrow that awaits our children and grandchildren, because I have fallen into that abyss. I’m going because others will not go into that abyss – they skirt around it. They refuse to feel it. Perhaps, understandably, they have more immediate things to worry about. And that’s ok. I will feel it. Over and over. For them. I will drown the wound in salt. I will do anything to save my islands.

In Paris she led the group Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA), an organization that uses art to inspire social change. The video below is from one of those meetings.
In the video above she recited at the Paris Human Chain.

From “Tell Them”, the powerful poem she recited in Paris:

and after all this
tell them about the water
how we have seen it rising
flooding across our cemeteries
gushing over the sea walls
and crashing against our homes
tell them what it’s like
to see the entire ocean level with the land
tell them
we are afraid
tell them we don’t know
of the politics
or the science
but tell them we see
what is in our own backyard
tell them that some of us
are old fishermen who believe that God
made us a promise
some of us
are more skeptical of God
but most importantly tell them
we don’t want to leave
we’ve never wanted to leave
and that we
are nothing without our islands.

Read the entire transcript here at Democracy Now!

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