17 December 2009 | News | Climate Justice and Energy | COP 15
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“The brutal tactics of the Danish police have casted a dark shadow on the international climate negotiations. Friends of the Earth International calls the Danish authorities to respect the right to protest and investigate the treatment given to peaceful demonstrators.”
This is what Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth International, said after the brutal police repression against the demonstrators that wanted to enter the Bella Center on Wednesday in Copenhagen, where the UN COP 15 on Climate Change is taking place.
Approximately 5000 members of social movements and organizations from different parts of the world carried out a peaceful civil disobedience action. This action was organized by the Climate Justice Action network. They marched several blocks to the Bella Center and tried to get through the police cordon. They were strongly repressed and hit by the police, who also used tear gases.
Reportedly over 250 people were arrested today. Several of them are still in custody and two activists were accused of organizing a violent demonstration. These two people will go to court today and they will be arrested at least until December 23rd.
People inside the Bella Center couldn´t go outside to meet the demonstrators and several of them were hit as well.
Despite the brutal police repression, approximately 2000 people carried out the Assembly of Social Movements, surrounded by police officers, near the Bella Center. There, several representatives of social movements and organizations and activists from the South talked in defense of climate justice. Then, they marched back to the centre of Copenhagen.
Yesterday´s arrests add to the list of the thousand arrests which took place these days. On Saturday, when 100,000 people were marching in Copenhagen in the Global Action Day for Climate Justice, police officers arrested several of them and held them sitting on the cold floor, with their hands tied up and without going to the bathroom. This is why the people arrested are accusing the Danish police of having been tortured.
Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez, greeted the demonstrators in his speech to the Plenary of the COP. Just like the activists, Chavez called for a “system change, not climate change.”
Meanwhile, Bolivian President, Evo Morales, called the indigenous peoples of the world to stay together to save Mother Earth. “We are the ones to lead this struggle in defense of Mother Earth and for the respect of its rights” he said during a meeting with indigenous peoples´ and communities´ representatives, according to Agencia Bolivariana de Información.
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