I hadn’t expected anything interesting or important to come out of the Copenhagen talks. With little or no expectations I have been amused more than disappointed with the lack of commitment, conviction and action from the various representatives from various Nation States.
I was a little shocked, however, to learn that police detained nearly 1000 protesters during a rally of ~ 50 000 people, and then 200 the following day, warning that they had resources to do the same again.
I was a little interested then, to learn that two protest collectives – one called ‘Climate Justice Action’ and another called ‘Never trust a Cop’ plan to “take over the conference for one day and transform it into a Peoples Assembly.” The collectives have released media statements and otherwise advertised their plans in what is clearly a strategic move to communicate their message and intent, garner public support and avoid being cast as senseless violent protesters by the media, which usually serves to justify a heavy handed police response.
Climate Justice Action, for example, have stated they plan to ‘reclaim power from below’:
“On the 16th of December, at the start of the high-level ‘ministerial’ phase of the two-week summit, we, the movements for global justice, will take over the conference for one day and transform it into a ‘People’s Summit for Climate Justice’. Using only the force of our bodies to achieve our goal, our Reclaim Power! march will push into the conference area, disrupt the sessions and use the space to talk about ‘our’ agenda, an agenda from below, an agenda of climate justice, of real solutions against their false ones. Our action is one of civil disobedience: we will overcome any physical barriers that stand in our way, but we will not respond with violence if the police try to escalate the situation.”
All of a sudden I’m impressed, expectant and a little anxious about the outcome of Copenhagen. Direct action is the only way anything productive is going to be achieved at the 12 day conference and it could very well set an important precedent for future conferences of world leaders, such as the G8. I fully support the protesters but cannot avoid an ominous feeling of dread when I think of the potential response by police.
Check out the statement released by the Climate Justice Action collective here:
‘Never Trust a Cop’ has a website here: http://nevertrustacop.org/
All power to them.