Greenpeace participated in a day of action in Johannesburg to protest Earth Summit inaction on climate change.
Greenpeace and other NGO activists wearing T-shirts with slogans reading fight till the end and open your eyes in seven languages. Greenpeace was reacting to news that all renewable targets have been dropped from the Earth Summit Action Plan dealing with energy and climate policy.
Activists from Greenpeace and other organisations, assembled
outside the convention centre wearing t-shirts saying 'Open Your
Eyes' in the official languages of the United Nations. Holding up
personal sirens and whistling shrilly, the protestors signalled
their alarm to the Heads of State. Police moved in quickly and
moved the demonstrators off the summit grounds, detaining two.
Greenpeace Canada Executive Director Peter Tabuns led the
protest, saying that "the world needs to open its eyes to what has
happened here. Multinational corporations have hijacked this summit
by ensuring that no meaningful action was taken to get renewable
energy into the hands of the poor."
This morning when the members of our youth delegation assembled
to hold a pre-approved and officially sanctioned press conference
in the civic heart of Johannesburg, BMW, which has been allowed
exclusive use of the plaza to exhibit the least polluting of its
cars, didn't want their giant inflatable globe to be the backdrop
to a Greenpeace event. Wearing bullet proof vests, the United
Nations police force marched the 10 or so young, non-violent
speakers away from the zone and detained them away from BMW's slick
As the police began to move the confused youth delegation away
there were cries of protest from the crowd. Swept up into the
removal was a nearby Free Tibet activist group, which was also
barricaded by a wall of police.
Shaken, the youth delegation continued surrounded by a ring of
officers. Disappointed with the actions of aged delegates who are
deciding the future of the youth of the world, they unveiled a
banner denouncing the backroom tactics of the United States,
signalling it was time for a new Action Plan.
BMW was quick to realise it had a public relations problem, and
called Greenpeace to say there had been a misunderstanding, and
denied that they had called the police. When asked by Greenpeace
political director Remi Parementier, they affirmed that BMW
supports the Kyoto protocol and wants a strong signal from
governments calling for its ratification.
Language adopted at the Earth Summit does nothing to further the
Kyoto protocol, and merely urges states that have not ratified to