Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Flood + Day of Action (Sat Dec 12)

A post from Olivia…. From Saturday December 12, 2009

On Saturday, Julia and I attended the large marches in Copenhagen, working to shake things up a little bit. I woke up in the morning to check out Klimaforum09 – a public conference on climate change being held in the city – leaving Julia asleep for another hour. At Klima many people were in blue ponchos, paint on their faces, with creative signs. One group of people had a space craft offering tickets at “a discount price for 1 billion dollars. This is your last chance.” The Flood began to flow, a protest put on by Friends of the Earth International, where approximately 5,000 people marched. People in the march were calling for no offsets, a strong climate treaty, reform of the economic system, and much more. The flavor of this march was, well, like a flood. We did “the wave.” Literally. The front would start and then everyone would jump all the way to the back. When we got to the square, this march closed with a few speeches.

The next march for the Global day of Action started up a few hours later. By then the crowd had grown quite large. We joined in on some wonderful dancing, made friends with activists dressed as clowns, polar bears, pandas, and more. In the Global Day of action, the march took on a size between 50,000-100,000 participants (reflecting the range presented in the media). This action was part of thousands that took place all over the globe calling for meaningful serious action taken on climate change, and for a binding international agreement. In Copenhagen the march was sponsored by many organizations with their own banners calling for action at COP15. These were transported and handed off to delegates of COP15, after 2-5 hours of marching. (We were in the 5 hour time block.)

During the march there was amazing drumming and a line as far as one could see of people. There were people of all sorts. As described more clearly in Julia’s recent post, the police have been engaging in pre-emptive arrests during the Copenhagen conference. Groups of police follow/target particular blocks of the march, particularly anarchist and black block groups. Julia and I got caught in one scuffle where we did not even see what had initially happened, but all of a sudden people were running away and the police were surrounding a section of the block. They backed off and the march continued after arresting a few people; However, at the same spot a few minutes later, the police surrounded and arrested 900-1000 activists at the same place, with only a few actually being charged. After searching for those being arrested, but blocked off by police, we arrived at the Bella centre at approximately 6pm. Here we met David, got a hot dog, and hung out with fellow activists around a series of fires that had been started. We finished the night by wandering around looking for food and returned to Morten’s around 11pm. Absolutely exhausted, legs pounding.

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