Today’s climate protests in Copenhagen saw 100,000 take to the streets – the largest protests at a climate summit yet. The System Change not Climate Change Bloc was primarily driven by the Climate Justice Now and Climate Justice Action coalitions of activists and campaigners from the Global South and North.

Aerial view of 300-400 climate change protesters arrested, handcuffed, lined in rows – sitting on pavement detained outside. #cop15

Climate Justice Action believes that the climate crisis shows that it is impossible to have infinite growth on a finite planet. False solutions like carbon trading will not solve the climate crisis. Such market based solutions lead to ‘climate colonialism’ through land grabbing and accelerating the transfer of wealth from the exploited to an elite.

Within the Bella Centre, the official talks are not getting far, with developed countries dragging their heels, refusing to commit to the ambitious emissions cuts necessary, and undermining the (already far too weak & deeply flawed) Kyoto Protocol. Heavy pressure is being exerted to divide unity amongst poorer countries, although until now this has failed, with a very strong speech from Ambassador Lumumba, representing the G77, on Friday.

On the streets, police waded into today’s mass demonstration on its way to the Bella Centre, breaking it into different sections. Hundreds, including families and small children, were kettled for hours in the cold. Those inside the kettle were handcuffed with cable ties and forced to sit in rows on the street, which was blocked off with rows of armoured jeeps to prevent access by supporters.
A total of 986 were arrested, almost all “preventatively”, ie before the police even believed they had done anything. The arrested were crammed into specially constructed cages.

Video of the police charging the demonstration and detaining protestors on the street.