Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The situaton inside the COP15

Not only are the Danish police both bumbling and heavy handed here in Copenhagen the UN organizers of this 'Conference of the Parties' COP15 event have really made a terrible mess. The IFOAM delegation numbers have been restricted so severely that most of our delegates cannot gain access and we probably cannot host the side event we scheduled for tomorrow. The Friends of the Earth have been restricted completely (The chair was escorted and banned) from entering the event and the venue entrance is now filled with a sit down demonstration of several hundred NGO members who have gone through security but are still not allowed to enter the venue.

The UN organizers informed us last week that that tomorrow 'civil society' will be cut down to 1,000 and by Friday down to 90. Now it seems they have changed the story and intend to cut our numbers down today and restrict access altogether by Friday. The general consensus is that civil society is being marginalized here. For UN organizers to register 45,000 people for an event that they planned to limit to 15,000 attendees is wrong and it is terribly costly to the organizations. People have come from all over the world at great expense. Researchers in organic agriculture from around the world have come to present at our side event and take part in our press conference only to stand outside in the snow for up to 8 hours and then be turned away. Everyone is very upset. Andre Leu even said yesterday that the organizers of this event are incompetent on Australian National television.

What is left of the NGOs inside the COP15 have planned an organized walk-out from the Bella Center today. With less than 1,000 inside the place is quite empty and now that the Plenary sessions will allow only 300 and may not even allow us to speak. The collective understanding is that it makes more sense for us to concentrate our energies on the growing movement outside of the venue.



Reclaim Power COP15
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