Tag Archives: durban

Global Justice Ecology Project Director Anne Petermann Ejected from COP17

Delegates from Mauritius, South Africa, and Elsewhere Expelled as Well

GJEP's Anne Petermann (right) and GEAR's Keith Brunner (both sitting) before their forced removal. Photo: Langelle/GJEP

December 9, 2011, Durban, South Africa – Civil society activists erupted into protest in the halls of the UN Climate Summit this afternoon, blocking the plenary halls and bursting into chants of “Climate Justice Now!”, “Don’t Kill Africa!”, “World Bank out of Climate Finance, “No Carbon Trading,” and “No REDD!” When UN Security began to remove the activists, Anne Petermann, Executive Director of GJEP, sat down. When she was asked to leave willingly, she refused to comply. While others were escorted out, Petermann, and GEAR’s Keith Brunner refused to go.  Brunner was carried out and Petermann was lifted into a wheelchair, and rolled out of the Conference Center.

Close by was Karuna Rana, a 23 year-old woman from Mauritius, who similarly refused to comply.

Crowd scene in the hallway. Photo: Langelle

Petermann sent the following statement to a press conference held by Climate Justice Now!, a coalition co-founded  in 2007 by Petermann and GJEP:

“I took this action today because I believe this process is corrupt, this process is bankrupt, and this process is controlled by the One percent. If meaningful action on climate change is to happen, it will need to happen from the bottom up. The action I took today was to remind us all of the power of taking action into our own hands. With the failure of states to provide human leadership, and the corporate capture of the United Nations process, direct action by the ninety-nine percent is the only avenue we have left.”

On hearing the news of Petermann’s expulsion, Flora Mmereki, of Botswana, who also took part in the spontaneous protest, said, “It really broke my heart seeing Anne taken out in a wheelchair, because she was acting for climate justice. It is so, so sad to see how they are treating people who stand up for humanity.”

Karuna Rana, at the action earlier in the day. Photo: Langelle

Karuna Rana, of Mauritius, is in Durban with a group of young journalists called Speak Your Mind. Runa, standing with Petermann in the rain at “Speaker’s Corner,” the Occupy site outside the Conference Center, explained her motivation: “I went to the protest action to take a picture, but I got emotionally empowered and I started to take part. I am the only young Mauritian here, so I found it my responsibility to speak on behalf of Mauritius, of small islands, and of global youth. I’m scared for my future. Mauritius is a small island state and it’s terribly unfair to have no voice in this process. If I did not take a stand, my voice would not have reached the negotiators.”

Petermann said, “We willingly took this action that cost us our credentials because we know that the only time to act is now. We hope that our refusal to move – our refusal to comply with the bankrupt UNFCCC process – will inspire others to take action in support of a new world – a transformed world that will be rooted in justice and in harmony with the earth.”

Emotions were high during the protest. Photo: Langelle

Petermann will sit out the rest of COP17 at the Speakers’ Corner, as global decision-makers come to the most likely outcome of these negotiations: a new non-binding legal framework, to begin in 2015, to begin voluntarily reducing emissions in 2020.

Local Desmond D’Sa, of South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, who was expelled as well, said, “We cannot wait for 2020, as that will result in millions being displaced or dying in poverty due to extreme climatic conditions.”

In other words, the talks have failed, the world powers are stalling for time, and the voice of civil society is locked out. Again.

Locked out, but for how long? Photo: Langelle

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Pollution, REDD, UNFCCC

Earth Minute: Daily Live Interviews from the UN Climate Talks in Durban, South Africa

Global Justice Ecology Project partners with Margaret Prescod’s Sojourner Truth show on KPFK–Pacifica Los Angeles radio show for a weekly Earth Minute on Tuesdays and a weekly 12 minute Environment Segment every Thursday.

This week’s Earth Minute discusses the connection between the financial crisis and the climate crisis, and the emergence of a call to occupy the UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa.  GJEP will be teaming with KPFK Los Angeles’ Sojourner Truth show to bring daily live 15 minute interviews from the UN Climate Conference from November 28 through December 9.

To listen to this week’s Earth Minute, click on the link below and scroll to minute 4:04:

Earth Minute 11/22/11

Text from this week’s Earth Minute:

As the power of the Occupy Movement continues to grow around the world, the UN climate convention is scheduled to begin next Monday in Durban, South Africa. The UN Climate Convention–the global body charged with addressing climate change–is also controlled by the 1%.

Indeed, the 1% who crashed the economy are the same ones who’ve trashed the atmosphere–clogging it with pollution that threatens all life on earth. So an Occupy movement is building there too.

We the 99% stand at a crossroads.  The Earth is fast approaching a tipping point.  Forests are falling faster than ever, oceans are poisoned, species are lost every day.  The web of life is literally falling apart.  But the power to transform this unjust and suicidal system lies with all of us.

Global Justice Ecology Project is once again partnering with The Sojourner Truth show to highlight community voices who have solutions at the UN climate convention in Durban, with daily live interviews for two weeks starting next Monday.

Please join us.

For the Earth Minute and the Sojourner Truth show this is Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project.

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Earth Minute, Posts from Anne Petermann, UNFCCC