Yesterday was the Dec 12 Day of Solidarity, in which citizens in over 3000 cities worldwide held candlelight vigils supporting action in Copenhagen. I, too, took part in the actions and marched 6 km from Parliament Square to the Bella Center.
The PowerShift Story
I’ve been in plenty of marches and protests before. They generally seem to be in the winter under adverse conditions. There was that one time when I protested the Iraq war, and it was so cold that I got hypothermia. Then there was the demonstration I took part in for PowerShift. It was about the coldest day in the history of Washington DC, and there had been a terrible blizzard the night before. I hadn’t packed any warm clothes. I never seem to protest on nice warm days, and yesterday was no exception. It was cold, but at least the sky was clear. This was the first time I have ever participated in an international march, and there were apparently 100 000 of us.
As we walked, the Danish people turned out on the streets and waved to us from apartment buildings lining the streets. Several of our number got recorded on BBC news (FUN!! I never seem to get any press hits), and it culminated in a candelight vigil with candles and actual torches outside the Bella Center. I was very cold and tired at that point, and all alone, so I headed over to the Bella Center to check my email.
When I got into the Bella Center, a lot of people were asking me whether I got arrested, or if it had been really crazy. No, it was not; although, apparently a few bozos among us started throwing cobbles at police. They were rightly arrested, but so were 900 other peaceful demonstrators. I cannot independently verify this at this time, but that’s pretty lame of the police it’s true.
No sooner had I got to the Bella Center, when someone from the Will Steger delegation grabbed me and asked me to telecast in to a group in Lansing, Michigan with some other midwestern delegates to describe the Copenhagen experience. I’m not sure how they knew I was from the midwest, but ok. I told them about the AOSIS show of support I went to (in an earlier entry).
After that, I went to the infamous NGO party. Now, I am of the mind that when people say “party”, it ought to mean that I put on a frilly pink party dress, Mom serves cake, ice cream, and fruit punch, we play Pin the Tail on the Donkey and ride little ponies. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the grass is green. The NGO party was not that way.
First, you had to stand outside for hours just to hang up your coat, there was nowhere you could go just to chill out and talk to people, and I had a real issue with a certain Nigerian official. I don’t understand people sometimes, I really don’t. Finally, at 2 am, I just got really sick of it and left. And THAT was the legendary NGO party.
I don’t know what’s happening next week. They’ve restricted our delegation by 75% due to the overflow of people trying to attend COP15. I may or may not be going back to the Bella Center. Till we get that worked out, I’m heading into the city to get some overpriced food.