Category Archives: Copenhagen/COP-15

Danish Repression of social movements and the right to protest

From our allies at Via Campesina:

Send this open letter to the Danish Authorities!

Friday, 12 March 2010 11:24

Dear sir/madam,

We are writing to express our concern at the decisions of the Danish government to bring charges against individuals arrested during the peaceful protests in Copenhagen during the COP 15 last December.

The international movement for Climate Justice which organized the mobilizations in Copenhagen is composed of many hundreds and thousands of groups and individuals worldwide. We strongly condemn the repression of the Danish state which aims to stifle dissent – dissent which is the basis of any functioning democracy.

We demand that the charges against Natasha Verco and Noah Weiss and the other climate prisoners are immediately dropped. Freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate are basic human rights, and we are astonished by the fact that charges are brought against people for the organization of legal protests in Denmark.

The actions of the Danish state not only threaten Danish democracy, but threatens to set a worrying precedent globally that dissenting voices must not be heard – repressing and criminalizing those who struggle for social justice, real democracy and human rights worldwide.

We urge the Danish government to take these voices into consideration and to make sure that the climate prisonners are immediately released– the world is watching.

Yours sincerely,

Josie Riffaud
International Coordinating Committee
La Via Campesina

Send this letter

* to the Danish Embassy of your country (you can send a fax, a e-mail or a letter)
See the list of embassies:

* to the Danish Ministry of foreign affairs Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Asiatisk Plads 2
DK 1448 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 33 92 00 00     Fax: +45 32 54 05 33  e-mail:

* to the Danish Parliament
Folketinget, Christiansborg 1240 København K
Telefon: +45 3337 5500

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Copenhagen/COP-15

Copenhagen Report Back with Anne Petermann

Listen to Executive Director, Anne Petermann, give a 28 minute report-back on Copenhagen in a radio interview with Kellia Ramares from Broadcaster at Large: Challenging the Assumptions We Live By, which is also being broadcast through the Women’s International News Gathering Service (WINGS).

Click here for the website and then Click on “Podcast – Climate Justice” in the menu on the left side of the screen.

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Filed under Copenhagen/COP-15

Climate Agreement Reached (or not…)

Below are my initial impressions upon listening to Barack Obama’s announcement about the so-called agreement reached in Copenhagen.  Tune in tomorrow for a full analysis of the negotiations and the outcomes.

Initial reactions:

* This was a total subversion of the UNFCCC COP process.  The Obama Administration succeeded in throwing aside the legally binding Kyoto Protocol, and the two track process agreed in Bali.

* The agreement reached is not only undemocratic, it is not legally binding, it is voluntary, and its commitments made on a country by country basis.
* Obama made an agreement with “key players” in the game and essentially flipped off the rest–especially the ALBA countries.  The African countries were outraged by the backroom dealings with Ethiopia by Obama and by France–which were carried out in the name of all of Africa without their consent.
Is Global Justice Ecology Project shocked at these developments?  Nope.  It is business as usual, as predicted.  This was the reason we participated in the founding of Climate Justice Action and the organizing of the Reclaim Power action that brought together social movements around the world to begin to discuss what the new world we know we need will look like.
More tomorrow,
Anne Petermann
Executive Director

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Copenhagen/COP-15, Posts from Anne Petermann

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

COP-15. Copenhagen

We are in the Belly of the Beast surrounded by lemmings in power suits. The masses have drank the kool aid. The good majority of humans are deliberating over the most inconsequential details of commas and word placement in the “climate” agreement. These documents are written by the same people (mostly men) who have coerced us into believing that everything is under control and we can maintain the way we are living… These agreements are going to decide where we choose to listen to Mother Earth or destroy her.
The Convention of Parties- 15 determines the future of the planet—however these negotiations only fan the fire of the global economic system. These talks systematically and intentionally exclude billions of people who are not represented by governments or heads of state. The impacts of neoliberalism, financial institutions, corporate CEOS reverberates and permeates on each of our lives, pillages our Mother Earth and the future of humanity.
The plethora of crises we face is undermined by the unfettered growth and workings of the free market. We have been taught that the market is the only fair and democratic allocation of goods and services; some are palpable enough to believe that the government is doing all of us a service with policies that solely benefit a select few. Who are the select few? They are organized, they are greedy and they have an agenda.
Our climate is not negotiating. It is not interested in what we are going to do in 2050, even with good intentions and “low carbon development technologies”. The climate is not bargaining and it cannot be paid off or subsidized. Climate change is happening and it is going to get worse. We cannot even fathom the magnitude of climatic disasters.
They are bargaining with our children’s and their children’s lives. They have tried to convince us that that we aren’t going to have ecosystems collapsing within the next 20 years. This is depressing. I know.
Wait, we don’t have to let this happen. They will never stop thinking of everything in terms of capital and monetary value, even if they know these things kill people and make people sick.
We cannot let this continue. IT HAS TO END.
We need to remind our governments and delegates that they cannot bargain with a finite planet that cannot be traded, no matter how nice the package. We need to say these messages to the corporate-backed governments and delegations; say them loudly and so that can understand clearly that we mean business here – and not their kind of business.The tables are turning, WE ARE ORGANIZED.
I implore you to join us. In any way you’d like. We are all in this together.
Sigue luchando, sigue tamando.

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Copenhagen/COP-15

REDD – Camila Moreno and Miguel Lovera on Democracy Now!

Camila Moreno and Chief Paraguayan Negotiator on Democracy Now!

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Copenhagen/COP-15, Indigenous Peoples

Climate Justice Action Press Release and Video


17th December 2009
Contact international media: +45 50669028
Contact Danish media: +45 41294994

Video came to light today of COP15 delegates being aggressively intimidated by police. (1)

Many delegates who marched out of the UN talks during Wednesday’s protests were intimidated and threatened with arrest by Danish police, preventing them from joining a People’s Assembly outside the conference.

Danish police were filmed as they surrounded and attacked official delegates who were attempting to join activists and other accredited observers to form a Peoples’ Assembly calling for climate justice.
Kevin Smith from Carbon Trade Watch, who was hit by the police on the bridge, said: “We were trying to reach the point where the Peoples’ Assembly was being held in order to have a discussion about the need for real alternatives to the false solutions being promoted inside the climate talks. It’s hugely shaming for both the UN and the Danish government that they are willing to use batons, pepper spray, police dogs and tear gas to try and stop these critical discussions from taking place.”

Camila Moreno, a representative from Brazil for the Global Justice Ecology Project: “It was a trap. They knew it, they never had any intention of allowing us to get to our friends on the other side of the bridge. It was a combination of the Danish police and the UN.”

Eriel Tchekwie Deranger from the Indigenous Environmental Network said: “They didn’t want information from those on the inside being conveyed to those on the outside, especially by strong voices from the global South.”

Dorothy Guerrero, Focus On The Global South representative from the Philippines, said: “The restriction on our movement hindered the Peoples’ Assembly, which was an alternative space from the official agenda. For many of us from the South we are used to seeing that in our own countries, but for a country that has a reputation like Denmark it is quite shocking. The fact that they are shutting people out is in many ways like shutting out the majority voice.”


(1) Footage available on youtube
Video by Jess Worth from the New Internationalist
For high quality footage, contact Climate Justice Action on +45 50669028

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Copenhagen/COP-15

Climate Justice Action and Climate Justice Now! Press Release

(You can view the photo essay from the Reclaim Power action below the press release)

For Immediate Release: Climate Justice Action & Climate Justice Now!

December 16, 2009

Contacts: Climate Justice Now!: 0045 2497 7863

Climate Justice Action: 0045 5066 9028

Mass Nonviolent Protest by North-South Climate Justice Alliances at COP 15 Marks Defining Moment for Emerging Global Climate Justice Movement

Despite Police Violence Civil Society Groups Inside and Outside Unite in “People’s Assembly” to Demand Real Solutions to the Climate Crisis

Protests Expose Deep Flaws in the COP Process and Denounce Efforts to Silence Critics by Excluding Civil Society

Copenhagen, Denmark—As the COP 15 climate talks enter their final days and world leaders converge on Copenhagen, thousands demonstrated in the streets of Copenhagen as part of the “Reclaim Power” protest for climate justice called by Climate Justice Action. About 300 COP 15 delegates who are part of the Climate Justice Now! Network marched out of the Bella Center and attempted to join the protests outside, led by members of the Bolivian delegation and the Indigenous Peoples Caucus. These delegates were met with police truncheons; some were badly bruised. Hundreds more UNFCCC accredited Civil Society observers were denied access to the Bella Center all together, including the entire Friends of the Earth International delegation, who staged a sit-in in the lobby at the Bella Center– and the Indigenous Peoples Caucus, which is scheduled to meet with Bolivian President Evo Morales and is being denied entry at the time of writing.

“In the wake of the mass exclusions of critical civil society voices from the COP 15 process, and with the future of our planet literally hanging in the balance, we joined the mass nonviolent movement in Copenhagen to protest the unjust agenda of the rich countries who are trying to strong arm the rest of the world into accepting their agenda of allowing global warming by 2 degrees — which will literally wipe entire nations off the map,” said Anne Peterman of Global Justice Ecology Project and Climate Justice Now! who joined the march out of the Bella Center today.

“I participated in this protest because climate change is already killing people in Africa.  This is an emergency and we need climate justice now!  We must acknowledge that we from the south are the real creditors and the governments of the North are the real debtors. They owe the world economic debt, ecological debt and climate debt and they must pay now!” said Mithika Mwenda, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance.

As broad frustration grows with the content and direction of the climate negotiations, two international networks of people’s movements, civil society groups, Indigenous Peoples Organizations and grassroots activists united to stage mass non-violent civil disobedience to expose the failure of the COP process. Representatives of these networks, Climate Justice Action and Climate Justice Now!, declared that, given the urgency of the climate crisis, it is time for dramatic action to expose the COP process as undemocratic, unjust and inadequate to deal with the scale of the problem. The “Reclaim Power” action on Wednesday December 16th involved thousands of activists simultaneously approaching the Conference centre from different starting points, and a mass of people walking out of the climate talks, to hold a ‘People’s Assembly’ a participatory platform for marginalized voices and real solutions to climate change. Despite significant violence from the police against non-violent protesters the groups did manage to meet and hold the assembly before marching triumphantly back to the city center to continue the work of building a broad based global climate justice movement.

“The solidarity we experienced today, in the face of police intimidation and repression, shows that people across the world are standing together to expose the failure of the COP to address the real causes of the climate crisis, and our determination to work together to bring about the changes needed to tackle climate change. The people feel strong together and we will go back home to build the movement for climate justice and for real solutions, ” said Kingkorn Narintarakul of the Thai Working Group for Climate Justice who, together with a delegation of Thai community activists, marched in today’s protest.

Unfortunately after today’s actions and the people assemble the Bella centre continues to be closed to all Non-Governmental Organizations and members of civil society. Among those locked out were leaders from the Indigenous Peoples caucus, young children and observers from across the globe aiming to support their governments. As Tom Goldtooth, director of the Indigenous Environmental Network who was also among those locked out of the building said “this is in direct contravention of our Human Rights under the United Nations Charter

“We have no more time to waste.  If governments won’t solve the problem then its time for our diverse people’s movements to unite and reclaim the power to shape our future. We are beginning this process with the people’s assembly.  We will join together all the voices that have been excluded—both within the process and outside of it. said Stine Gry, Climate Justice Action.

The Reclaim Power action brought together climate activists, representatives of climate-impacted communities and Indigenous peoples from around the world for a peoples assembly that took place outside the Bella Center. The range of actions included not only participants in the COP process walking out of the talks but also thousands of people who have been excluded from the talks making their way into the grounds of the Bella Center to call for Climate Justice.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Copenhagen/COP-15

December 16th Reclaim Power Action for Climate Justice at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen

Photo: Langelle/GJEP-GFC

Photo: Langelle/GJEP-GFC

Photo: Langelle/GJEP-GFC

Photo: Langelle/GJEP-GFC

Wahu Carra, of the Kenyan Debt Relief Network and the Peoples Movement on Climate Change speaks to reporters prior to the Reclaim Power march at the Bella Center. Photo: Petermann/ GJEP-GFC

Reclaim Power marchers attempt to cross the bridge to join the peoples’ assembly. Photo: Petermann/ GJEP-GFC

Danish Police attempt to push back the Reclaim Power marchers using batons to hit people. Photo: Petermann/ GJEP-GFC

Danish Police rough up a reporter. Photo: Petermann/ GJEP-GFC

The police move in and violently repel the Reclaim Power marchers from the bridge. Photo: Petermann/ GJEP-GFC

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Copenhagen/COP-15, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle