by Nina Somera, Isis International
Copenhagen, Denmark (16 December 2009) - With the tightened security at the Bella Centre and the resulting marginalisation of civil society organisations (CSOs), a number of CSOs led by farmers, indigenous peoples, women and activist intellectuals such as Naomi Klein walked out of the conference premises, shouting, “Reclaim Power.”
On Monday morning, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat announced the reduction of the number of CSOs as heads of state and more delegates from national governments arrive. From 15 to 16 December 2009, only 7,000 CSOs have been granted entry with the use of secondary badges. The number would be further reduced to 90 for the final plenary.
As Climate Justice Action, one of the organisers of today’s mobilisation described, “This will be a civil disobedience, but we will not respond with violence if the police try to escalate the situation. We will make sure that the voices that have been shut out of COP 15 can be heard.” “The talks are not responding to the problem. We want to create a space for the people,” Nicola Bullard of Focus on the Global South asserted.
Not much Danish groups are expected though in the ongoing mobilisation given the more stringent policies of the host governments for their citizens who are participating in these mobilisations. “They are now afraid of the new laws include penalties such as 40 days in prison.” The police have also been allowed to arrest anyone based on suspicion.
Tom Kucharz of Ecologistas en Accion added, "What they are doing is clearly unacceptable, The process has become undemocratic and untransparent."
Last Saturday’s massive mobilisation that was attended by more than 100,000 people was marked by violence as police disrupted the mobilisation and arrested nearly a thousand participants.
Despite the issuance of secondary badges, people continue to queue outside the Bella Centre for hours in freezing temperatures.