update… The Reclaim Power action occurred as planned, with credentialed delegates and observers walking out of the U.N. conference to meet with protestors marching toward Bella Center. As the groups attempted to merge in order to hold a People’s Assembly, the Danish police blocked both portions of the converging protestors. Above is a photo of the Danish police charging the portion of the action that walked out of the conference. Keep in mind, these are people holding U.N. credentials.
You can watch the press conference announcing the Reclaim Power action here and read the press release below.
For Immediate Release: Climate Justice Action & Climate Justice Now!
December 15, 2009
Contacts: Climate Justice Now!: 0045 2497 7863
Climate Justice Action: 0045 5066 9028; firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
Global Alliances Announce they will Protest 15 Years of Failed Climate Negotiations with Mass Non-Violent Civil Disobedience
Civil Society Groups Inside and Outside The COP Process Issue Call to Unite in “Peoples’ Assembly” to Demand Real Solutions to the Climate Crisis
Copenhagen, Denmark As broad frustration grows with rich country and corporate influence over 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 announce a mass non-violent civil disobedience to expose the failure of the COP process.
Representatives of the networks, Climate Justice Action and Climate Justice Now!, have 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 action called for Wednesday December 16th will involve groups of activists simultaneously descending on the Conference centre from different starting points. At noon, they will join up with the mass of people walking out of the climate talks, to hold the ‘Peoples’ Assembly’, a participatory platform of marginalized voices and real solutions to climate change.
“Over the last 15 years, the COP process has been corrupted by corporate money and the refusal of the rich countries of the world to take responsibility for the problems they have created. At a very fundamental level, we need to talk about how we leave fossil fuels in the ground, but no one is talking about that inside the talks in Copenhagen,” said Ivonne Yanez of Accion Ecologica, which is a part of Climate Justice Now!
“Africans from inside the Bella Centre are proud to be reaching out and standing with our brothers and sisters outside. We stand with them against a deal that will kill Africa. President Obama cannot come here and sign the death warrant of literally millions of Africans. Instead, he should come and march with us, listen to us, and commit to a just, long-term deal that stops climate change and keeps our people alive,” said Mithika Mwenda of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).
“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. We will be both non-violent and confrontational. We will not let fences and physical barriers stand in our way, and we call upon the police to respect our right to make our voices heard. This is a global emergency. What are you willing to do to insure our children’s future?” said Stine Gry, a representative of Climate Justice Action.
The Reclaim Power action will bring together climate activists, representatives of climate-impacted communities and Indigenous Peoples from around the world for the Peoples’ Assembly that will take place on Wednesday, 16 December. The range of actions will include 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.