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Angry NGOs march out of conference

[ 2009-12-17 11:52]     字号 [] [] []  
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The activist networks Climate Justice Action (CJA) and Climate Justice Now staged a roaring walk-out protest yesterday morning from the Bella Center, the conference venue of Copenhagen climate conference, in protest against the "exclusionary tactics" of the negotiators.

Around 100 protesters, mostly from NGOs, started the angry march in the heart of the Bella Center were then joined by hundreds of other people - Danish TV estimated about 2,500 - at the conference venue.

The protesters were shouting "Reclaim Power!", "Join People's Assembly" and "Repect indegenous people's rights!" while several native Indians drumed and chanted exotic native Indian songs.

People were also shouting "Bolivia" to cheer for Bolivia, as the Bolivarian Alliance for the peoples of our America (ALBA) recently called on industrialized countries to pay their "historic climate debt," to underdeveloped countries as well as a 49 percent reduction in greenhouse emissions.

The day was the coldest day since the conference began on Dec 7 and light snow flurries fell since morning.

CJA, which organized the march, said the protest is to complain against the "exclusionary tactics" of the negotiators, which blocked most of the NGO members out side conference center as 119 world leaders landed in Copenhagen to join in the meeting.

The protest group coming from inside Bella Center was supposed to converge with a much bigger group of protesters marching toward the conference center from Taarnby, a suburb of Copenhagen a few kilometers from the Bella Center conference facility where 192 governments were meeting. But when the two groups tried to break the police cordon to meet each side, they were met by police who used batons and tear gas to stop them from moving forward.

The two groups of protesters were largely members of NGOs and social movements who were excluded from the negotiations and who said they protested to make their voices heard. The organizers behind the march said the negotiators at the COP15 meeting are failing the people they are supposed to represent and also took a dig at the UN registration mix-up that has seen thousands waiting in the cold because the venue is over-subscribed.

"We will get past the police cordon so that we can hold a popular assembly and discuss with delegates from the summit ... to get a climate solution," CJA spokesman Peter Nielsen told Danish TV2 news.

"The police have tried to get in our way all week now," he said. "This is a question of resolving a global problem, and we will not hold people back."

A member of Climate Justice Action, told China Daily that the protest was not intended to be violent, but was aiming to gain access to the venue to "pressure to the negotiators to take immediate action and to achieve an ambitious deal."

More than 45,000 people have requested access to the Bella Center, which has a capacity of 15,000. According to the local newspaper, about 22,000 have collected their accreditation passes.

Late day, hundreds of NGO members were blocked outside after UN security staff feared the demonstration was turning violent. Police said 230 demonstrators were arrested. Police stepped up security of the Bella Center yesterday, as 119 world leaders started to land in Copenhagen to participate in the final talks.


1. According to the report, how many governments were meeting?

2. How many people requested access to the Bella Center?

3. How many demonstrators were arrested?


1. 192.

2. 45,000.

3. 230.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Angry NGOs march out of conference

About the broadcaster:

Angry NGOs march out of conference

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.