A clear blue sky over Christiansborg Slotsplads (Parliament Square) seen two police and military helicopters flying around as about 100,000 people were taking over the area. It marked Global Day of Climate Action in Copenhagen and more than 130 countries around the world to jointly demand world leaders seal a fair, ambitious and legally binding climate deal.
At noon, temperature dropped to 2 degree Celsius as I headed toward the square. It’s a bloody cold for me to stand still there and to wait until 2.00 PM before marching to the Bella Center started. Fortunately, in the big crowd with most of them were European and look a like European I was with 200 Greenpeace volunteers wearing light green jacket reads “Act Now, Change the Future”, some holding placards with different messages, a giant floating snowman and a floating world in a lifebuoy. And, the most fascinating was the Samba Drum – the coolest Greenpeace volunteer team of the day.
“Let’s stick with them so that we won’t get lost” I told Topsi – former action coordinator of Gypsies from Thailand who is now a master degree student in Germany and came over here to attend COP15 on behalf of University of Freiburg. When we reached the Drum I started jumping up and down together with others.
I have been to several forms of demonstration and protest for more than 20 year of activism, aside from the most memorable and hard-core clean-up action in Bhopal, India, this was the biggest climate demonstration I never seen before. Around the world over 500 organizations took part of it. It ranged from environmental, development, faith, labor, youth and political groups. Here in Copenhagen demonstration organizers included Greenpeace, Oxfam, 350.org, Avaaz, IndyAct, ActionAid, DanChurch Aid, WWF Denmark, Climate Justice Action, Socialist People’s Party Youth, The Danish Social Democratic Youth, Enhedslisten (Red/Green Alliance) and People’s Climate Action.
On the stage before the really started, speakers were giving inspiring speeches to warm up demonstrators. I only remembered, Helena Christensen-Danish-Peruvian Model and Photographer, Kumi Naidoo – Greenpeace International Executive Director, Rahul Bose –Bollywood actor and Global Ambassador for Oxfam and Vandana Shiva-eco feminist, a physicist, environmental activist. Around 2 pm. The rally started moving from Parliament Square across the bridge. At Nyhavn port, not far from the bridge Greenpeace ship’s Arctic Sunrise remain anchored.
Arctic Sunrise has been in Copenhagen before the beginning of Climate Summit and she is here as part of the big Greenpeace family to help in pushing the delegates
to really achieving a legally binding agreement that is really needed. One big banner on board read “Politicians Talk, Leaders Act”.
From the bridge, I kept walking, dancing and holding “Climate Justice NOW” placard together with the Samba Drums gang to Chistainia area. More people join the march. Then moving slowly to Tingvij/Frankrigsgade. It was about 4.30 pm and dark already when the first part of the rally reached Sundby area where I can see 1 Megawatt Wind Turbine operating behind the Bella Center.
Outside the Bella center, the stage cut across the road. Reported from Wanun Permpiboon – one of Thai colleague who has been helping Thai Negotiating Team inside the Bella Center “It was wonderful to see human sea of light bringing a message of hope and solidarity, most of people in the room stop discussion and came out to see it on the screen”.
Civil Society team from Thailand had also join the rally with other groups. They told the other day that rally at the front was moving so fast and made an enough space for police to “seal-off” some protesters from the march. On that day, police has arrested several hundred activists.
I was with Greenpeace activists in the march all the time. As speakers on the stage went to Bella Center handing over the ship sails to UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo De Boer, all Greenpeace volunteer got in the bus heading to Greenpeace warehouse for dinner and debrief.
I took on Greenpeace inflatable from warehouse to where Arctic Sunrise is anchored then took the bus to Danhostel Bellahoj, Topsi who stay with other 200 volunteers sent a short message “Samba Drum start playing now for volunteer party”. I missed it.
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