Protests banned at COP21


in Bombs and rockets, Politics, Security, The environment

Naomi Klein on Paris’ decision to ban “outdoor events” during the forthcoming climate negotiations:

Rather, after the horrific attacks of 13 November, it needed to determine whether it had the will and capacity to host the whole summit – with full participation from civil society, including in the streets. If it could not, it should have delayed and asked another country to step in. Instead the Hollande government has made a series of decisions that reflect a very particular set of values and priorities about who and what will get the full security protection of the state. Yes to world leaders, football matches and Christmas markets; no to climate marches and protests pointing out that the negotiations, with the current level of emission targets, endanger the lives and livelihoods of millions if not billions of people.

It is worth thinking about what the decision to cancel marches and protests means in real, as well as symbolic, terms. Climate change is a moral crisis because every time governments of wealthy nations fail to act, it sends a message that we in the global north are putting our immediate comfort and economic security ahead of the suffering and survival of some of the poorest and most vulnerable people on Earth. The decision to ban the most important spaces where the voices of climate-impacted people would have been heard is a dramatic expression of this profoundly unethical abuse of power: once again, a wealthy western country is putting security for elites ahead of the interests of those fighting for survival. Once again, the message is: our security is non-negotiable, yours is up for grabs.

The world has failed twenty times in a row to adequately address climate change. Another failure in Paris this year would have consequences in human suffering that massively dwarf what any terrorist group (or all global terrorism put together) is able to inflict.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

. November 26, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Is the Paris Climate March Cancellation a ‘Gift to the Movement’?

“This element of uncertainty…can give birth to the global social movement that activists have been dreaming of,” says Occupy Wall Street co-founder

. November 26, 2015 at 2:35 pm
. November 26, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Disrupting Global Governance: Protest at Environmental Conferences from 1972 to 2012

Carl Death

Disruptive protest by nonstate actors often accompanies global governance conferences, but little analysis has been devoted to disaggregating its diverse forms. This article identifies four types of disruptive protest— symbolic, procedural, coercive, and evasive—and illustrates them with examples from UN environmental conferences in Stockholm (1972), Rio de Janeiro (1992), Johannesburg (2002), and Rio de Janeiro (2012). Symbolic disruption in Stockholm contributed to the production of new discourses; procedural disruption in Rio in 1992 introduced new actors and texts; some protestors sought to directly and coercively disrupt the summit in Johannesburg; and protests in Rio in 2012 illustrate disruption through evasion and exit. Understanding the form and power of such disruptive protests is crucial for studies of global governance.

. November 27, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Paris climate activists put under house arrest using emergency laws

French police arrest activists for flouting ban on organising protests during climate talks next week

. November 27, 2015 at 4:24 pm

To the (inflatable) barricades!

Hundreds of people from the climate justice movement have remained in Paris, despite the state of emergency. They are determined to defy the protest ban and have the last word, Jamie Kelsey-Fry reports.

. December 1, 2015 at 11:06 am

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