Irish Environmental Activists detained on way to COP21 Paris Protest

Stephen O'Brien

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Last night 35 Irish climate activists were detained for approximately 3 hours in the port of  Cherbourg, in France. The activists, are between the ages of 20 and 72, who all intended on attending the Stop Climate Chaos, which were in Frances capital Paris. The group Stop Climate Chaos which is amalgamation  of 28 environmentalist groups including Friends of the Earth, Trócaire, An Taisce, Concern and Christian Aid. The Irish convoy of activists were the only faction of activists detained in France last night who intended on attending Stop Climate Chaos.

The Climate change talks in Paris were suppose to end today, although their has been an indication that the talks may run over into Saturday at the earliest.  The two-week talks were scheduled to wrap up today but Laurent Fabius said: “I will not present the text Friday evening, as I had thought, but Saturday morning.” (Read More) Yet another draft Paris agreement was  released  and was immediately renounced by civil society organisations.

Flickr / antonin_remond – via Iframely

Wednesday morning signalled communal protest by anti-fracking activists, more than 600 people from across the world converged on Paris  for a mass sit-in outside the plenary hall, awaiting the result of the negotiations. The activists chanted in solidarity “Together we are unstoppable, another world is possible” clapping, singing and stamping collectively as movement leaders made their voices heard. “It’s not 1.5 to stay alive, it’s to maybe have a chance, ” shouted Majandra Rodriguez, a Peruvian activist affiliated with TierrActiva.

The protest was amid reports of powerful developed nations, such as,  the United States have settled around a 1.5 degree limit, although have stalled in providing a mechanism  needed to reach that commitment – namely loss and damage, finance and equity.

 ‘We’re at 0.86 degrees change right now. Our people are already dying!’ Majandra Rodriguez  – See more –

The Irish times had published a story interviewing one of the Irish activists William Hederman  who has stated that he would be one of the 33, who would make the 28 hour journey voyaging to Paris, via Rosslare. Their intention was to join the biggest climate change summit protest in history, surround and besiege COP21 in its final days joining with protestors from all over the world, such as, Majandra Rodriguez.

Read more here – Click Link

An interesting report comparing news media coverage offered some enlightening information on COP21 media coverage. Although civil society organisation and environmentalist’s have attempted to catch the attention of the mainstream media with ideas like Brandalism, which was their idea to create the biggest fake ad campaign in Paris. (Read more)

Open Democracy study
Open Democracy study

Courtesy of Open Democracy and The Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power.

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 Author and environmentalist activist Naomi Klein stated in an interview with New Internationalist “Some of what we are seeing is worse than what happened after 9/11. Bush did not ban marches and protests across the board. There were certainly increased police presence and more  restrictions but this idea of just a complete blanket ban of demonstrations in cities, I don’t remember ever seeing that in North America. What Brussels has experienced is so extreme. So I think this is very familiar, using a crisis and using people’s fear to push through policies that they already wanted to push through like restrictions on privacy, on movement for people, restricting refugee entry, all of this, it is a pretty classic example. The fact that it is unfolding in Paris during the climate summit is really exposing the subjectivity of what gets declared a crisis and what does not. “

Want to read the full interview  – See more

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)  a free trade agreement between the US and the EU, which would create the biggest free trade market in the world. This free trade agreement has been met with much public outcry while not receiving much coverage in Irelands national press, although this agreement and climate change talks are interlinked.

Read more about TTIP follow the link – Click Here

The British press have seen more promise in their ability to set the agenda and inform their citizens.  In an article by the independent they examine reports which have come out that indicate  Europe’s willingness to undermine COP21 talks. If you would like to read more regarding the            relationship between TTIP and Cop21 follow this link – Click Here

Ciara Kirrane in an interview with the Irish Times spoke of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, which she is co-ordinator “We’re delighted so many different groups in Ireland have supported this call for action on climate change – from unions to student societies, NGOs and the public.

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Stephen O'Brien