The organization Ecologistas en Acción celebrated its 25th anniversary this Tuesday at an event at its headquarters, the Ateneo La Maliciosa in Madrid, where it announced that its next Confederal Congress will take place in Zaragoza.
Ecologists in Action was born in December 1998 thanks to the union of some 300 environmental defense groups after two years of contacts and negotiations. Not in vain, the environmental movement was divided since the 1970s into multiple entities, mostly local.
'Remnants of fight. Weaving futures' is the motto chosen by Ecologistas en Acción to celebrate its 25 years, which places emphasis on two of the organization's hallmarks: the diversity of territorial struggles and collective work to, in the midst of the emergency ecological, build other better and possible societies.
Sara Acuña, coordinator of Ecologistas en Acción, stressed this Tuesday that the strength of the NGO lies in “the perseverance and dedication of all the people who make up this organization” and “the voluntary work they do at the local level to defend their territories from "more than two decades ago."
Acuña recalled “great victories” such as “stopping Eurovegas in 2012, the declaration of the Algarrobico hotel as illegal in 2022 or the paralysis of the Marina Isla de Valdecañas complex this same year.” “We are facing an unprecedented ecological and social crisis, but we know that another way of living, putting life at the center and respecting the limits of the planet, is possible if we continue united,” he stressed.
For his part, José Luis Martínez Álvarez, historical activist of Ecologistas en Acción and member of the Platform in Defense of the Mountains of Aragón, recounted how a local group ended up organizing into Ecologistas en Acción.
“Ecofontaneros, the group of Ecologists in Action of Zaragoza, was born in the 90s, as a response to the corruption of the Aragonese political class and large speculative projects, such as Gran Scala or the Huesca airport. Our protests to defend Moncayo and the Pyrenees were very striking: we buried ourselves in cement or climbed the Eiffel Tower. Its merger with Aragonese sister groups gave birth to the Federation of Ecologists in Action of Aragon,” he commented.
Luis Rico, also coordinator of Ecologists in Action, stressed that what has been achieved in the last 25 years would not be possible without collective work, mutual support and joint struggle. “If something characterizes us, it is the formation of alliances with all groups that pursue environmental and social justice. This implies being a connector of a great diversity of social movements, unions, environmental, neighborhood, anti-racist, feminist or fight against precariousness organizations,” he explained.
On the other hand, the next Confederal Congress of Ecologists in Action, which is held every three years, will take place in Zaragoza, where there will be a change in the Confederal Secretariat and a new coordination team.
Marina Gro, activist of Ecologistas en Acción and member of Ecolojóvenes, highlighted that “‘intergenerationality’ is very nutritious and is key to the future of any organization and project with a transformative vision.” “We have to stop being seeds to become a forest in which all the trees are connected to each other and complement each other,” she added.
The event included a toast supported by Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, SEO/BirdLife, WWF, Attac, Platform for a New Energy Model, CGT, CCOO, UGT, Housing Coordinator, Tenants' Union, Youth for Climate–Fridays for Future, Extinction Rebellion, SOS Racismo, Aliança contra la Pobresa Energetica, ONGD Coordinator, Oceana, Framv, Espacio Conciencia Afro, Sindicato de Manteros, Traficantes de Sueños, Fundación de los Comunes, Teachers for Future and Feministas por el Clima, among others invited groups.