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Another Crazy Day in Copenhagen

12/13/09

Only a few anti-capitalists and law enforcement officials could disrupt the simple trip down the 1A bus line.

The trip from the residential Zone 3 to the Copenhagen port is supposed to be as easy as it gets.  Just get on the 1A at Rosenhøj and ride it to Esplenada.  No need to switch busses, take the metro, or board the train.  Just sit on the bus.

This was the mid-day plan for Alex and me to meet the rest of the DEPP group, but more Copenhagen protests got in the way of that.  After passing the central train station on the 1A, our bus hit a police blockade and was rerouted.  It was the bus driver’s time to improvise.  After 15 minutes of snaking through city streets, not even the Danish woman who sat in front of knew where we were.  Alex and I grabbed a map and got off at the next stop.  As it turned out, the port was nearby, but a large group of police and about 200 arrested protesters were even closer.  We went to check out the protesters.  We learned later that the demonstrators had actually come by ship from Norway to protest capitalism and commerce (it’s always fun to see anti-capitalists).

After multiple tour-sized police buses hauled off the culprits, the crowd thinned, and Alex and I decided to head off to catch Bright Green—a sort of green business exposition in Copenhagen.  Ironically, the only demonstrators outside of Bright Green called for “Market-Based [Climate Change Solutions], Now!”  Who knows what would have happened if the anti-capitalists made it that far.

The events inside were headlined by big names such as Steven Chu (Obama’s Secretary of Energy) and Dr. Pachauri (chief of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).  The expo was full of different innovative companies, but it was Dr. Pachauri’s call for more grass roots climate action that was the most striking.  His basic message was that business has an opportunity and government has a responsibility to act on climate change, but that it’s about time for the public to apply the pressure.  We’ve certainly seen signs of that the last couple of days.

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