On Sun, November 29th, a day before COP21 is set to kickstart in Paris with world leaders attending the opening week, more than 10,000 people took to the streets of Paris, participating in a creative action called a “human chain.” The chain stretched the length of the intended march route in a powerful display of the voices of popular movements who have been shut out of the COP process through the protest ban. Later in the afternoon, hundreds of protesters took to the streets and over 280 people were arrested and faced police violence. Worldwide, more than 600, 000 people in 175 countries took to the streets, demanding real responses to climate change.
“Members from the It Takes Roots delegation stood in defiance today to defend democracy, reclaim the streets, and stand in solidarity with people living alongside fracking wells, REDD projects, and nuclear facilities – all rejecting these false solutions that COP21 is intending to advance,” noted Cindy Wiesner, with Grassroots Global Justice Alliance.
The It Takes Roots Delegation participated in the Frontlines and Indigenous peoples sections of the Human Chain devoted to representing communities directly impacted by the climate crisis at Sunday’s action co-organized by Alternatiba, Attac, 350, Friends of the Earth and many other members of the Climate Coalition 21. Our powerful messages and demands were reflected through our colorful banners, signs, lively chants and feisty music marked the one hour human chain that spread for nearly two miles across the streets of Paris.
“It is now more critical than ever to take to the streets to denounce the bad climate deal. COP21 will be the worst of all COPs because it will see the planet burn. We cannot accept that,” said Pablo Solon, former Climate Chief Negotiator from Bolivia and Climate Space Ally.
Grassroots activists from the global north and south are converging in Paris these next two weeks, outside of Le Bourget, where the official COP21 takes place, to demand that governments listen to people, and not the polluters. The It Takes Roots Delegation represents the global south within the global north, and also stands in strong solidarity with groups across the global south who are determined to have their voices heard as COP21 begins to unfold this week. This delegation will be an active participant and organizer of civil society led activities, workshops/panels at People’s Climate Summit, and other creative ways to hold governments accountable to their people, not corporate powers.
Some photos from Sunday’s action below. More on our photos page.[fshow photosetid=72157661694003571]