A crowd of youth, activists, indigenous peoples, and perhaps some
delegates, burst in chants of "Climate Justice Now!" and "Reclaim
Power!" in the middle of the Bella Center where the Copenhagen Climate
Talks are being held. Instantly surrounded by cameras and media, the
group began a march out of the center towards the gates of the building
where as many as 10,000 people are planning to meet them in what
organizers are calling the Reclaim Power action.
The BBC is reporting
that hundreds of people have already been arrested this morning as
thousands more march on the Bella Center. It will be a challenge for
them to get very close to the negotiations. As Adrian Wilson reports,
security is tight around the conference venue with chain link fences,
concrete walls, and hundreds of police and what looked like Danish
military blocking the roadways - someone with me in line this morning
reported seeing a water cannon going by.
The action may receive a good deal of sympathy from even the most
mainstream civil society groups here at the talks. The UN has severely
restricted the number of NGO representatives able to access the
negotiations over the next few days. Yesterday, NGOs were allocated the
"secondary badges" now necessary for entry for only about 20% of their
participants. Tomorrow, the UN will only allow 1,000 civil society
representatives into the talks. On Friday, only 90 were going to be
allowed in, but representatives from the Climate Action Network and
others argued security back up to 500.
"The surgical removal of non governmental organizations underscores
the lack of democracy inherent in these negotiations." said Professor
Micheal Dorsey, a member of the Climate Justice Now! Network. "The
United Nations process has systematically failed the world's
marginalized countries and consistently excludes those that would dare
support and fight on behalf of those countries. The only way to avoid
catastrophic climate change is fully supporting and including peoples
movements like the very ones illegitimately removed from this process."
"Today we are seeing thousands of people joining together to fight
for climate justice," said Natalie Swift, a spokeperson with Climate
Justice Action. "We need systems change to create a world which is
truly just and sustainable and solve the climate crisis."
Keep checking IGHIH for more updates as this action evolves and
marches attempt to open up the highly guarded Bella Center to the