It reminded those passing by of the reading of names at memorials to fallen heroes or victims of terrorism… And in a way, the action felt like the early public mourning for an ambitious climate outcome at the COP 15, which will probably never see the light of day.
Thursday in the afternoon, the babylonic noise levels in the Bella Center reached a new crescendo, when some 50 young folks, committed members of the tcktcktck campaign started reading out aloud the names of people from all over the world. Sitting and standing in the main walkways of the conference center, the activits implored the moral support of some 11 million men, women and children from around the world who had signed on to the campaign worldwide demanding a “fair, ambitious and legally binding” agreement in Copenhagen.
It was yet another form of civil society protest on a day that saw several demonstrations and peaceful actions — both inside and outside of the Bella Center — to remind the negotiators of their obligation to still do everything in their power to work towards a success, …although at this point of the wrangling, negotiators probably have to work hard in order to prevent an outright failure of the talks…
The civil society network Climate Justice Now and other groups had earlier in the day attempted an “inside-outside” action: some activits inside were supposed to join with some 2000 protesters outside, who had marched to and waited in front of the Bella Center in an effort to “reclaim the power” over the negotiations.
The Danish police, which on Tuesday had still offered coffee to those standing in long lines to get access to the Bella Center, responded this time less warmly: instead of hospitality, they used hostility and sticks and dogs and arrested several hundred of the chanting, but peaceful marchers.
By the way: the UNFCCC is obviously not comfortable with members of the civil society, who excersize their right to freedom of expression by organizing or joining in peaceful demonstrations. How else to explain its decision to block access to the Bella Center to accredited members of Friends of the Earth International and Avaaz.org, some of the groups active in organizing the “inside-outside” protest march earlier today. The UNFCCC Secretariat these past few days has clearly lost more than just its grip on crowd control…