The Climate Is Changing Fast, Politics Is Not

by | Dec 16, 2009

Activists seeking “Climate Justice” have been methodically protesting in Copenhagen during the two-week U.N.-sponsored summit on climate change, in order to push delegates and leaders toward real solutions instead of the usual rhetoric-filled nothingness.

According to The New York Times, the protests went from peaceful to heated today.

In Wednesday’s demonstrations, protesters began massing north of the center shortly before noon and pressed into a tight line of riot police blocking access to the hall. Some of the officers wielded truncheons against the chanting, shoving protesters in a close-order scrum. After forcibly removing protesters from a truck parked in an intersection outside the Bella Center, police in blue vans kept moving the protesters backwards, nearly pushing some into a watery marsh.

As the police vans advanced, skirmishes broke out with protesters who formed human chains and chanted their commitment to nonviolence and to helping people in parts of the world that they said would be hardest hit by climate change. A number of protesters encouraged individual groups to keep pushing against the police.

Apparently, 250 people were arrested today in these “skirmishes” with police. Like the protests around the WTO meetings in Seattle and elsewhere, it’s a hard core minority that seeks to escalate the confrontation. But I don’t believe anti-capitalist sentiment is a minority opinion. People are tired of powerful interests simply running people into the ground.

Mette Hermansen, 27, studying to train teachers, and a member of the International Socialists of Denmark, told the Times, “In the Bella Center they are not discussing solutions to climate change. They are discussing how rich countries can continue emitting and how to sell that to the public. We are not preventing leaders from making solutions but encouraging them to make solutions.”

Bonus click: I also wrote about “Hopenhagen,” the U.N.’s effort to rebrand the famous Danish city during the Conference, on AdPulp.