Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Climate Activists Vow to Demonstrate During Paris Talks

In the wake of terrorist attacks that rattled Paris, United Nations climate talks will proceed, and groups are pressing for protests to go on as well.

As Paris mourns, climate activists have to figure out how to properly conduct protests during the United Nations climate talks. (Credit: Reuters) Click to Enlarge.
Climate change talks will proceed as scheduled in Paris following terrorist attacks that killed 129 people and injured 350 last Friday.  The fate of dozens of marches, civil disobedience actions, concerts and art events organized to coincide with the United Nations meeting at the end of this month, however, remain up in the air.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls told the French radio station RTL that no foreign leaders had asked to postpone the UN talks, but that all peripheral events, such as rallies, would be canceled out of safety concerns.  But after an emergency meeting held Monday evening, leaders of several activist groups vowed to keep pushing French officials to allow the demonstrations, while also encouraging people to join one of the many solidarity events happening across the globe.

"We fully share [French authorities] concerns about public safety—just as we fully oppose any unnecessary crackdowns on civil liberties and minority populations," Nicolas Haeringer, France campaigner for 350.org, said in a statement.  "We can think of few better responses to violence and terror than this movement's push for peace and hope."

Members of the Coalition Climat 21, a French-based collection of 130 groups helping to organize the climate rallies, said that while they mourn the victims of the attacks in Beirut and Paris last week, they "believe COP21 can not take place without the participation or without the mobilizations of civil society in France."

"We will implement all our efforts to hold all the mobilizations currently planned," the groups said in a statement.  "In consultation with the authorities, we will continue to ensure the security of all participants is guaranteed."

Read more at Climate Activists Vow to Demonstrate During Paris Talks

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