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War on Climate Change

December 12, 2009
COP15 Demonstrators attend protest march in central Copenhagen

Hundreds of people were arrested in Copenhagen today after violence erupted during a major protest march through the Danish capital as UN climate change talks reached their halfway point.

The demonstration, organised to urge conference delegates to work out a binding deal to tackle climate change, was largely peaceful but was marred when a group of protesters threw bricks at police.

As many as 700 people are thought to have been arrested amid clashes with riot police as the authorities used “kettling” tactics to contain marchers.

Organisers estimated that up to 100,000 protesters, including some dressed as penguins and polar bears and carrying signs saying “Save the Humans”, joined the march across the city to the conference centre where negotiators and ministers are meeting.

MORE AT GUARDIAN

Copenhagen climate change rally leads to arrests

Trouble has broken out as thousands of people marched through Copenhagen demanding action from leaders at UN climate talks there.


Most of the march in the Danish capital passed off peacefully, but one group smashed windows and was arrested.

Hundreds of others were detained in a preventative action by police.

Security has been tight along the four-mile (6km) route, with extra police on the streets and security fences put up around some buildings.

Marches were also held in Australia, Hong Kong, Jakarta and the Philippines.

Danish police said they had rounded up more than 300 people in a preventive action against a section of the demonstration, AP news agency reported.

Television pictures showed scores of people on the ground with their hands tied and surrounded by riot police.

MORE AT BBC

COPENHAGEN — Tens of thousands of demonstrators from around the globe took to the streets here Saturday for the largest protest planned in two weeks of international talks on a global strategy to combat climate change.

The police and organizers estimated that 60,000 to 100,000 participants joined a long march from Christiansborg Slotsplads, or Castle Square, southward to the Bella Center, the sprawling and heavily fortified convention center where delegates and observers from nearly 200 nations are gathered to seek a consensus.

The main demonstration — which brought together a broad coalition of hundreds of environmental groups, human rights campaigners, climate activists, anti-capitalists and freelance protesters from dozens of countries — was mostly peaceful. But in other parts of the city, spontaneous demonstrations by bands of radical protesters resulted in 600 to 700 arrests, the police said.

A spokeswoman for the police department said there were scattered reports of localized riots in which protesters threw rocks and smashed windows. The police said that four parked cars had been set ablaze in the Christiana neighborhood and that at least one police officer had been struck in the jaw by a rock.

MORE AT NY TIMES

Tens of thousands march for tough action on climate

One protester dressed as Santa Claus held up a banner saying warming was occurring twice as fast in the Arctic and that “my Rudolf cannot take it any more.”

Other demonstrators sported banners that read: “There is no planet B,” “Change the politics not the climate,” and “Nature does not compromise”.

“Each year 300,000 people are dying because of climate change,” Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International, told the marchers. “This is not about adaptation, it is about survival.”

“We cannot allow carbon traders to damage the world,” added Nigeria’s Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth International.

“There is no such thing as clean coal or clean crude. Leave the oil in the soil, leave the coal in the hole.”

A police statement spoke of 400 arrests made and identified the suspects as members of militant groups from northern Europe known as Black Blocs.

They were accused of provoking street violence during a NATO summit in the French city of Strasbourg last April.

MORE AT CHANNEL NEWS ASIA

Consolidated from COP15

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 13, 2009 3:14 am

    Fantastic to read about your actions in Copenhagen. We had a parade in Tokyo yesterday with 300-400 people, very peaceful and fun. Make the Rule and other groups walked frmo Yoyogi to Shibuya and there was no violence. Best wishes from Japan!

  2. Admin permalink
    December 14, 2009 1:33 am

    Hey Martin! Glad to hear your actions in Tokyo went nice & smooth =) The march in Copenhagen was largely pretty peaceful but these mass events are always opportunities for trouble makers outside of the movement to use as a cover for their violence. And as a result, give the media impression that it was a violent protest.. Do continue checking back to the blog for updates too!

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