Human rights violated by climate change … and by the UN Climate Change Convention in Copenhagen!
The UN Climate Change Convention in Copenhagen presents itself to the world as if it were truly tackling the major global crisis of climate change, with thousands of government delegates and even a hundred or so presidents and heads of state joining the meeting.
However, the most powerful countries – which are those most responsible for climate change – have been twisting negotiations in order to derail any binding agreement and to impose a top-down agreement with very low carbon reduction targets – more based on carbon offsets than on real carbon cuts. The trend of northern countries has been to wriggle out of their emission reduction commitments, to marginalise southern countries and to silence criticism or alternative voices.
At the same time, civil society groups demanding real solutions to the global problem of climate change have been excluded from their already marginal participation.
In response, thousands of people from all over the world took to the streets of Copenhagen demanding real and just solutions to climate change, with banners and placards around the idea: “Climate Justice means System Change not Climate Change”.
The huge and peaceful demonstration that took place on December 12, ended with more than 918 people arrested.
On Monday 14, hundreds more were arrested following a public meeting addressed by Canadian journalist Naomi Klein.
On Tuesday 15, Tadzio Mueller, a spokesperson for the group Climate Justice Action, was arrested by undercover police officers following a press conference at the Bella Centre (petition to release Tadzio Mueller:http://www.PetitionOnline.com/Tadzio/petition.html).
On Wednesday 16, the NGO Friends of the Earth had their accreditation revoked in a so called “surgical removal”.
On that same date, thousands of protesters marched toward the UN climate summit with the stated goal of transforming the talks into a People’s Assembly and to call for climate justice. Police made over 200 arrests. Meanwhile, inside the Bella Center, hundreds of people staged a walkout to try and meet the marchers outside but were met with a heavy police response (reported by Democracy Now! at http://tiny.cc/IDlfq ).
On Thursday 17, hundreds more protesters were arrested and there have been numerous reports –including video-taped evidence- of police brutality and the extensive use of batons, pepper spray and tear gas.
Not only people’s rights are being swept. As Bolivian President Evo Morales said in his speech at the climate summit: “Our Mother Earth is treated as if she were a thing without life, as if she didn’t have rights.”
See videos in English at:
Democracy Now!: http://www.democracynow.org/
The Guardian: http://tiny.cc/7cJB2
The Independent: http://tiny.cc/du48A
More information on Copenhagen available at:http://www.wrm.org.uy/COP15/cop15.htm