Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Copenhagen update from SOAS

Hiya, Stephanie from Soas is currently in Copenhagen and this is what she sent me , please read it for a cool update:)
Sorry for not updating for awhile but I have not have had internet access till now. But greetings from Copenhagen! It is snowy and wet and the temperature is -3 right now, but we are surrounded by a huge community of passionate people from all over the world who have descended on this city to learn, get their voices heard and maybe even change things.  
The SOAS group is staying with Climate Camp at a school in Northwest Copenhagen with about 50-100 other activists. I cannot speak for all of them but spirits are high though energy is waning. We are saving it for the big protest tomorrow. There is a sense of great hope and anticipation everywhere. There are protesters everywhere. Every advertisement in the city says something about the climate. The city is a temporary home for thousands of activists and networks in Copenhagen has been amazingly well´coordinated to provide everyone here with free places to stay, accomodation, meeting places, places to build things, etc. in exchange for their help in running the places, cooking food, keeping watch, etc. 
They have got permission to turn warehouses and empty schools into places for activist activity.
'What has happened: 
Sunday-- I arrive and meet up with the people of the SOAS group. Hear news of a huge police crackdown on protesters the day before and today (people threatened to shut down port), which none of us are involved in.There is an alternative conference, KlimaForum which is taking place downtown. It involves talks and panels NGOs, scientific bodies, experts fighting climate change and the issues surrounding it. Some developing nations give notice that they might boycott the conference.
Monday--- The nations decide not to boycott the conference. Some of us take part in a No borders protest which highlights the situation of refugees and increased immigration due to climate change and occurring now. It is a mostly peaceful protest which ends at the Ministry of Defence, though people do make off with a large balloon tethered in front of the building. Later that night we listen to a panel with Naomi Klein at another alternative meeting in Christiania where she describes the .

TODAY: I hear about the long lines journalists and delegates and NGOs have to stand in to get into the conference. A student from Sussex representing an NGO waited 9h outside yesterday and did not get in. I go with him and some other people to the bella centre and to tell them about hte protest tomorrow. I meet NGO delegates from Indonesia, India and the USA. People are msotly conserving energy for the massive protest tomorrow, where they are trying to get into the Bella Centre to disrupt the meetings. They want to do this because so far, the meetings are not producing any results or taking into account hte views of the developing world. The main reasons is that many delegations from the developing world, NGOs and youth delegates have also agreed to walk out as they feel they are not being heard. The idea is to meet them and have an alternative conference. Th protest march to the bella centre is legal but We shall see what happens.

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