UK Labour Leader Corbyn Leads “Mass Disobedience” Against French Ban on Demonstrations
The demonstration planned for December 12th will stand in opposition
PARIS: British Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and author Naomi Klein have called for “mass disobedience” to break French President Francois Hollande’s “draconian ban” on demonstrations during the COP21 summit in Paris.
"Unleash the optimism, unleash the imagination, unleash the hope. That is the way forward." Corbyn said. Klein spoke for the civil organisations worried about the outcome of the Paris meet saying, "The deal that will be unveiled in less than a week will not be enough to keep us safe. In fact, it will be extraordinarily dangerous."
Wealthy nations have set up inadequate climate targets that could allow average global temperatures to rise by 3 or 4 degrees Celsius, Klein said—far higher than the agreed-on threshold of 2°C, which scientists say would cause catastrophic extreme weather events. The deal is going to "steamroll over crucial scientific red lines... it is going to steamroll over equity red lines... it is going to steamroll over legal red lines."
"Which is why on December the 12th, at 12 o'clock—that's 12-12-12—many activists will be peacefully demonstrating against the violation of these red lines," Klein said to loud applause.
The French government had cracked down on activism after the November 13 attacks that killed 130 persons, and sparked a manhunt that many criticised for flouting European civil liberties. States from organisations in France criticised the government for crossing the Rubicon as it were, and violating human rights and liberty. Klein herslef has been an outspoken critic of the ban.
"We will be mourning the lives already lost to climate disruption, in solidarity with the lives lost to the tragic attacks here in Paris and enlarging that circle of mourning," Klein said. "By taking to the streets, we will be clearly and unequivocally rejecting the Hollande government's draconian and opportunistic bans on marches, protests, and demonstrations."
"We will be rejecting the shameful preemptive arrests of climate activists... the restrictions on free speech and movement," she continued. "Liberté is not just a word, and it doesn't just apply to Christmas markets and football matches."
Corbyn, UK Labour leader who has close ties with civil society groups across the world said, "We've taken the responsibility on ourselves to do something here and now. To stop the destruction of the world's environment, to bring people together to prevent that happening, and above all, to bring people together not through fear, but through hope, through imagination, through optimism. Unleash the optimism, unleash the imagination, unleash the hope. That is the way forward."
Thousands of activists representing different organisations have gathered at Paris to pressure governments and corporates to keep their concerns central. The first week has seen no breakthrough, with disagreements on almost all issues amidst the participating nations. It seems as if the only progress that the negotiators made was to cut the size of the text of proposals made by the participants from 55 to 38 pages.
However, the negotiators continued to maintain that a deal will be reached. US President for instance has been in touch now over the telephone with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Tod Stern, US Special Envoy on Climate Change, has been quoted as saying that the negotiations were a “step ahead” and they were hoping for “strong agreement”. “At this stage of the negotiations what we are looking for is a text that we can work with but not something that we agree with in every respect, “ he said.
Down to Earth reported COP21 presidency Laurent Fabias as saying that he has been meeting the ministers and countries trying to remove differences. He has given the responsibility of meeting countries groups to three ambassadors to resolve the differences. He was hopeful that the negotiations will be concluded well within time.
The Indian delegation said that substantial progress has been made in Paris compared to earlier change meetings. “The progress made in Paris is substantial, and in the coming few we are hopeful that we will be able to resolve our differences,” Ajay Mathur a senior negotiator from the Indian Delegation said.
Despite the tall talk, the first week has not brought the negotiators closer to an agreement with serious differences remaining. The activists, aware of the non-progress are expected to join the ‘mass disobedience’ in large numbers in Paris today.