Worth passing on.

Dear extraordinary Avaazers,

We did it! Despite losing our flagship Paris event, this weekend’s Global Climate March still broke records as thelargest climate mobilisation in history! From São Paulo to Sydney, 785,000 of us shook the ground in over 2,300 events in 175 countries, united in one voice calling for a 100% clean energy future to save everything we love. It was front page media worldwide, and the impact is already being felt at the summit here in Paris.

It’s nearly impossible to describe the powerful and diverse beauty of humanity that rose up yesterday, but these photos help:

London, UK

This is the movement our world has been waiting for. Many countries, from Bangladesh to Ireland, saw the largest climate marches in their history. In Australia, 120,000 people marched, in India, over 100,000. And in towns across the planet small groups of us joined together in beautiful local events. Even in Sana’a, Yemen, organisers went ahead with their march despite bombs falling close to the route!

Clockwise from top left: Melbourne, Helsinki, Berlin, Amsterdam, Bogotá, Jakarta

In France, massive planned marches of over 500,000 people were cancelled for security concerns, but Avaazers rallied to collect and display over 20,000 shoes of people who wanted to march — including the Pope’s and the UN Secretary-General’s! — placed at the Place de la Republique, right on the doorstep of the climate talks:

Global climate marches were covered by hundreds of major news outlets and made the front pages from Al Jazeera to the New York Times.

Pope Francis’ envoy said of our marches: “The Pope is in spirit with hundreds of thousands today, hand in hand with the poor and those who seek climate justice.”

Today, in his opening address to world leaders, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed: “The peoples of the world are also on the move. They have taken to the streets, in cities and towns across the world, in a mass mobilization for change… They expect each and every one of you to show leadership equal to the test. History is calling.”

And Christiana Figueres, the head of the UN climate talks, thanked us all and announced: “I am working with Avaaz to install a large screen for your voices to be heard. All delegates will be able to see your support for a strong climate change agreement that protects our common home.’’

Click to see more pictures from the day and messages from those who marched

Today, the crucial climate talks begin. For years politicians have said to us “Show us that people care and then we will act”. This weekend we’ve shown them that the whole world wants a 100% clean energy deal. And right now a video of us demanding it is screening above Heads of State as they enter the conference. They can’t miss us. And they won’t miss our call either — Avaaz’s top staff are right inside the summit and will be carrying our voices to the negotiators everytime they try to dilute the deal.

We have taken our movement to a new level this weekend. Over the next two weeks, let’s keep coming back again and again, to keep our flame of hope held high, to shake these talks, until we win a deal to protect our future.

With so much gratitude and determination,

Emma, Alice, Luis, Ricken, Ben, Mais, Dan and the whole Avaaz team

P.S. Click here for an Op-Ed from our CEO, Ricken Patel, on this moment as a test of humanity.

Thousands of Avaazers have sent in stunning photos and videos of marches from all over the world. Over the next two weeks, they will be projected on a big screen at the summit — seen by world leaders and negotiators as they enter and exit.

Avaaz.org is a 41-million-person global campaign network
that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz’s biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Stop and look at the stars.


My father was always trying to get me to look at the stars with him, but as a child I found them just too big and scary. Now I understand. Sometimes you just need to stop and realise your own insignificance, that the world will continue to turn if you just stop and rest.

This quote picture really spoke to my heart. I’ve been very busy and burdened of late. I didn’t realise till I entered the end rest of my yoga class (something I’ve skipped the last two weeks) just how stressed I’d been. The world wide refugee situation etc. has been much on my mind. Then there’s my sweet personal “refugees” – my daughter and her 3 year old who’ve been staying with me since August, having finally decided Mexico was just too dangerous for their family. They’ve had more than their share of battles, sickness, finding a job/nursery, getting all the paper work organised and working on temper tantrums when daddy isn’t here to cope with it but instead translating for refugees in a bullet proof vest.

I was given the gift of empathy, to love, to care, which has been a great blessing both as a teacher and volunteer worker,but sometimes, if I don’t keep giving it up to Jesus, it can become overwhelming.

As I lay back and slipped into deep relaxation I pictured the clear starry heavens and peace encompassed my soul. God has this, I realised.

Two thousand and 84


flash fiction from2014

Song Bird Songs


“What is freedom?” she asked.
“It’s more than an absence of imperial domination,” he explained, eyes glowing in the dim lit cell.
“It’s something you must have inside, in your head, before you can live it, before you can give it to others. Some people think they are free, but they are the most bound of all, they are not even free in their thoughts.”
“Those that do the bidding of the masters?” she glanced down at the plastic cuffs securing her hands to the bench.
“Yes,” he whispered.
“Was I free before they captured me?”
“No, for you were bound by fear of them. That is not freedom.”
“Where you ever free?”
“Yes, for a while I was, free of fear and free of them. I lived on an air ship. I hid in clouds and scattered pamphlets … I was free like the birds till they shot me…

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What SHOULD Normal Be? (A morning rant!)


rant reblog from October 2014

Song Bird Songs

We accept many things as “normal” that we should not, war, crime, hate, disease, dishonesty, loneliness, pollution etc. I’m not speaking day dreams or delusional fantasy, but things that lie within the realm of human choice.
I believe this world could have and should have been different; that the “normal” we accept is actually far from what normal should be. If we accept these things as “normal” we lower our expectations.

It should be “normal” that people live to a ripe old age disease free dying peacefully as their bodies slowly reach “expiry date”. Cancer, heart failure, and all the other “nasties” could be the exception to the norm if only choices were made for the good of the population not quick money (don’t get me started on that one!) Even now there are sufficient resources to feed the hungry if folks like Gandi, Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa…

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Wish we’d imported this one instead of Halloween.


We have so very much to be thankful for!

On another level when looking at this picture I was thinking we might learn from the story of these Indians helping the “refugees from injustice”. They were willing to teach and share (but then it didn’t end well for the Indians)?

Happy thanksgiving to all you Americans (and others that celebrate it) wishing you a wonderful time of love and companionship with your families.

God’s Search.


from November 2014

Song Bird Songs

god touch
How often we see things back to front and inside out. Sometimes this whole fabric of society seems that way to me.

We should be sharing not accumulating, helping not condemning, reviving not destroying, even the old foundations on which western society was built seem to be slowly eroding, Heroes gets sent to jail, criminals get compensation. Money from the poor to lines the pockets of the rich and big business overrides a healthy population.

Yet it is within our power to change things, at least within our own small communities, to start positive things that can grow. Under democracy we have power to vote but few of our options seem good.

In this present system one of our greatest powers is in what we buy (many big brand name corporations could be made to prioritize human rights and eliminate dangerous commodities if we boycotted buying their stuff till they…

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