For Immediate Release
Kevin Smith +45 52 68 53 02
Anne Petermann +45 52 67 95 95
Civil Society Groups at COP15 denounce preemptive arrests of climate justice protestors in Copenhagen
UN COP critics silenced with police action as talks enter final days
Reclaim Power nonviolent civil disobiedience actions step off at 8 AM Wednesday
Copenhagen, Denmark — Dr. Tadzio Mueller of Berlin, an accredited NGO observer at the COP 15 was arrested today without provocation by three plain clothed police outside the Bella Center. His arrest took place shortly after a press conference where he and other representatives of civil society announced nonviolent protests planned for Wednesday in Copenhagen. (Today’s news conference is archived on video here: http://bit.ly/8eXDnI)
Danish police have also raided a Climate Justice Action convergence space today where activists were repairing bicycles to showcase fossil fuel alternatives, and arrested another 20 people outside of the official NGO summit “Klimaforum.” The arrests are continuing at the time of writing.
“The Danish police are clearly taking their cues from the Connie Hedegard and the Annex One posse who are trying to strong arm the world into accepting their agenda and silencing the thousands of people who have come to Copenhagen to demand action for climate justice,” said Dorothy Guerro, Senior Associate with Focus on the Global South, a founding organization of the Climate Justice Now Network. “First they shut the public out of the climate negotiations, then they shut out 80% of NGOs who have been accredited to attend, and now they are jailing people who challenge the undemocratic nature of the climate negotiations, while the future of life on earth literally hangs in the balance.”
“I wish I could say that I was surprised at this outrageous behavior, but I am not,” stated Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project, the group that hosted the press conference. “The UN Climate Convention has become increasingly unjust and repressive. The Danish Government, which is hosting the talks, is making back room deals with the U.S. and other Northern countries to sabotage any possibility of an effective and just climate agreement. It stands to reason that they would deploy their security and police forces to crush any dissent–especially if it is designed to build an effective international climate justice movement,” she continued.
“The lives of billions of people are literally on the line here at COP 15, but these negotiations have been focused on propping up the interests of elite countries and corporations rather than addressing the fossil fuel economy that threatens our collective survival,” stated Kevin Smith, of Climate Justice Action. “It is for this reason that we are gathering for the Reclaim Power protest and Peoples Plenary that will happen tomorrow at the UN Climate COP.”
Demonstrators will begin to gather at Tarnby station at 8 am on Wednesday the 16th for the Reclaim Power demonstration. This demonstration will involve 5-10,000 people who are unable to access the COP 15 talks, and who will be approaching the Bella Centre from the outside, as they join a simultaneous march out of the summit. The two marches will form a “Peoples Plenary” to discuss real solutions to the climate crisis and build international solidarity for climate justice.