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Actions..Actions..Actions that keep the Bella Center Moving

12/11/09

At the entrance of Bella center stood a handful of charming Chinese ladies in colorful jackets, scarves holding the signs “Go veg, go green”. These persistent Chinese demonstrators will be there again at night to bid farewell and hand out a large, canvas bag. Right around the corner was a row of Action aid ladies and gentlemen in red suits holding signs reading, “Rich countries, pay your climate debt” as they slowly moved to the rhythm of the music.

Surrounding these peaceful demonstrations were two free organic coffee shops filling the air with freshly brewed irresistible aroma. Almost frozen by Copenhagen’s bone cracking winds, participants, delegates, journalists and nongovernmental observers alike would stop by this cozy spot to warm up and energize themselves for a great start at the center and I was no exception. Free show and delicious coffee; can I ask for more? And with tons of paparazzi around lighting up the crowd, I felt like a movie star.

After passing through lines of people waiting for the accreditation, I joined other long zig-zag lines at the security point. No sooner did I turn into the main hallway that I heard a chant from Young Friends of the Earth. What did they demand?  “No offsetting.”  They want “Climate Justice and minimal 40% reduction.”  After taking some interesting photos, I proceeded to the main lobby. Just after 50 or 60 steps, I was halted as I saw  Chinese youth delegates dressed up like cute animals. They were begging people to see the Chinese traditional doctor and get a remedy for the sick planet. “If people don’t come we (the animal species) will be taken away by the evil monster (climate change). The more people join and take action, the lower the temperature will be,” said the Chinese representatives.

Then I mingled with the stream of people flowing towards the entrance of Techno Bhare plenary. I was greeted by a huge crowd supporting and cheering Tuvalu. They were warning the decision makers that “Survival is not negotiable.”  It became so turbulent and overwhelming that the security had to intervene.

Oh yes, these are the actions prevailing all over the Bella center. I wouldn’t be surprised if I ran into one of the Avaaz aliens searching for climate leaders, too. These young volunteers walk through the Bella center all day long trying to find the  chief negotiators.  They are the voices of the youth, the vulnerable and the hopeless. Hopefully, the decision makers do not find these actions annoying or amusing but serious and urgent.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Beth Bogie permalink
    01/29/10 4:42 pm

    What a wonderful article, Khin Khin, capturing the many flavors of advocacy in carnival-like atmosphere. You captured a 100-ring circus — serious circus — so very well. Cheers should also do to Andrew Maddocks for his excellent overall article.

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