Thursday, November 19, 2015

Paris Climate March Is Canceled over Security Concerns

The Nov. 30-Dec. 11 negotiations are scheduled to continue as planned, with Obama and more than 100 other world leaders slated to attend.


People clap at the end of a minute of silence at the Place de la Republique in memory of the victims of the Paris terror attacks last Friday, on November 16, 2015 in Paris. (Credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.
All marches and rallies set to coincide with United Nations climate treaty talks in Paris have been canceled due to heightened security concerns following terrorist attacks that killed 129 people and injured 350 more, French police told environmental and activist groups Wednesday afternoon.

Environmental leaders had been expecting some 200,000 people in Paris for a march on Nov. 29, the day before UN negotiations begin, and thousands more for dozens of other climate demonstrations over the course of the two-week meeting.

"The French authorities say they cannot guarantee safety at the march, and so it will not happen," Jean Fran├žois Julliard, executive director of Greenpeace France, in a statement. "This is a source of huge regret, but we must respect the decision."

Organizers on Wednesday immediately began urging their members and followers to join one of the thousands of local climate events happening worldwide on Nov. 29.  They were set to coincide with the large event in Paris.

"The government can prohibit these demonstrations, but our voices will not be silenced," Nicolas Haeringer, French campaigner for 350.org, said in a statement.  "While this makes it difficult to go forward with our original plans, we will still find a way for people in Paris to make the call for climate justice heard, and we encourage everyone around the world to join a Global Climate March and raise their voices louder than ever.  There's never been a greater need."

Environmental and activist leaders had been meeting with police since the Nov. 13 attacks to negotiate the fate of the demonstrations.  According to The Guardian, French authorities offered organizers the option of hosting a stationary rally instead of a march and limiting attendance to 5,000 people.  The next day, following a police raid of an apartment building in a Paris suburb that left two people dead and eight arrested, the head of Paris police told environmental and activist leaders that all outside demonstrations would be canceled for the duration of the climate talks.

Read more at Paris Climate March Is Canceled over Security Concerns

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