Bizi!’s Alternatiba Tour

Bizi!’s Alternatiba Tour left Bayonne (Basque Country) on June 5th and arrived in Paris on Saturday September 26th. From Bayonne it passed through Donostia and from there back to Iparralde (Espelette)(Basque Country under French rule) and from there to the East of France (Toulouse, Carcassonne, Narbonne, Perpignan, Nimes, Marseille) and from Avignon to the North (Grenoble, Lyon, Fribourg, Strasbourg, Strasbourg) entering Switzerland (Geneva), Luxembourg, Belgium (Brussels), to go west again to Brittany, doubling back and down again to Bordeaux to go north again (Angoulême, Tours, Orleans) to arrive in Paris three and a half months later. 5,000 kms (3,10686 miles).

Alternatiba Tour in Donostia

In a month and a half (half of it) of Alternatiba Tour included also 60 velorutions (critical masses – bicycle demonstrations in the center of the cities), 32 public conferences, concerts or Alternatiba villages/communities, countless meetings with groups, associations and local elected officials, interviews with the regional press and more. The Alternatiba Tour mobilized thousands of citizens for the climate all over France, but also in Europe, thanks to the Alternatiba Tour, before the COP of Paris.

For the Alternatiba Tour organisers, the aim was as much about inviting people to start without delay the social and ecological transition as it was about asking political leaders to act locally and globally to stabilize the climate. It is in this double perspective that a Transition Pact was delivered to the mayors and presidents of intercommunities of the territories the Alternatiba Tour passed through.

The Alternatiba Tour arrived Luxembourg met on Tuesday, July 28 with the president of the Environment Council of the European Union (EU), in charge of coordinating the EU position for COP21. From July 1, Luxembourg held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union until the end of December. It therefore represented the EU during COP21.

The Alternatiba Tour explained their expectations of the EU presidency 5 months before COP21. They talked about the leel of ambition in the reduction of greenhouse gases in the EU and , the concrete measures they could implement without waiting for 2020.

Thus, an alternative tour de France with a Basque name was one of the most important socio-political events of the Paris climate count-summit and previously, the most important in calling on society to mobilize and prepare to react against that summit.

Alternatiba was also the name used for days in which to bring together, show and try alternatives to this system, fully putting into practice the slogan «Change the system, not the climate». Baiona became a city of alternatives, Alternatiben Herria, in 2013, with different neighborhoods or sections: environmentalism, feminism, economics, labor, internationalism, etc. It was a success of participation, results, proposals and above all, a massive joint effort. Because of that, the experience was repeated in 2018. And also so many other places: Bilbo (2015), Donibane Garazi (2015), Iruña (2018), etc. but also reaching 180 towns in the French state, Europe and other places in the world, being the last ones in Grenoble, Sitten (May 2021) and Geneva (September 4, 2021) in Switzerland, in Champforgeuil on September 19 and even in Haiti next year!!!!

From that success, the Basque name continues to name a climate movement with strong roots in social participation, disobedience, and anti-capitalism. Since 2013 and 2015 Alternatiba collectives implanted mainly in the French state totaling already 53.

The Alternatiba Tour:

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