The climate talks continue to heat up as protesters attempted to gate crash the conference this morning in Copenhagen. The Danish police used less than friendly tactics to keep the activists away — tear gas and batons — and 250 have been arrested. Organized by Climate Justice Action and Climate Justice Now!, the rally was an attempt to bring attention to the fact that world leaders have still not settled whether industrialized countries will agree to strict limitations on carbon emissions and how these countries will help developing nations to to cope with climate change.
The uninvited guests also cried out about the lack of representation from NGOs and activist groups at the talks and showed their support for strict environmental standards. Micheal Dorsey, a member of the Climate Justice Now! Network, said “The surgical removal of non governmental organizations underscores the lack of democracy inherent in these negotiations. The United Nations process has systematically failed the world’s marginalized countries and consistently excludes those that would dare support and fight on behalf of those countries. The only way to avoid catastrophic climate change is fully supporting and including peoples movements like the very ones illegitimately removed from this process.”
Protests have erupted all week in Copenhagen, and activists have not been shy to admonish the Danish police for their tactics to keep crowds quiet. In the NY Times, Richard Bernard, an activist from Climate Justice Action said, “Danish police have been violating human rights all week.” In the Guardian, Naomi Klein says, “Denmark is losing its reputation for being a good world citizen.” You can read more about Klein’s criticisms on the Danish police’s tactics here.