Real leaders face Christmas jail time while polticians flee climate crime scene

Feature story - December 20, 2009
Four of our activists face the prospect of Christmas in jail this year over charges relating to our crashing of the Head of State dinner at the Copenhagen climate summit, while the leaders who did practically nothing about the greatest threat to our planet got away scott free.

Delegation from Earth about to be evicted from Danish Queen's dinner party with 100 heads of state at Copenhagen climate summit.

We called for the immediate release of our people at a candle-lit vigil on Saturday night outside the Vestre Fængsel prison, in Copenhagen. Over 100 Greenpeace staff and supporters held banners reading "Freedom From Climate Injustice."

Click here for short biographies of the activists

Crime Scene

"Copenhagen has become a 'climate crime scene' after over 120 Heads of State squandered an historic opportunity to agree a climate saving deal," said Kumi Naidoo, our International Executive Director.

"While the perpetrators of the real crime fled the country on private jets, it is shocking that the Danish authorities have decided to detain, without trial, four peaceful protesters over Christmas."

"Their families will spend a bleak festive season knowing that their loved ones will be languishing in isolation for acting to save the climate. For standing up in defense of the hundreds of millions of people and countless species which will be severely affected by catastrophic climate change."

Kids around the Christmas tree

Three of the activists have children at home who will be missing a parent this Christmas. The activists - Juan Lopez de Uralde, Nora Christiansen and Christian Schmutz - are the climate heroes who brought home to world leaders attending last Thursday's banquet with Queen Margrethe the message that leaders were failing the climate.

Yesterday, police also arrested Joris Thijssen, a climate campaigner at Greenpeace International. He is being held under the same conditions as the other three activists.

Copenhagen has become a 'climate crime scene' after over 120 Heads of State squandered an historic opportunity to agree a climate saving deal.

Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director Greenpeace International

The activists joined Heads of State from over 120 countries en route to the banquet at the Danish Parliament. Arriving in a three-vehicle convoy, immediately in front of Hilary Clinton, a Greenpeace 'Head of State' and his 'wife' stepped out onto the red carpet as representatives of the millions of people around the world who wanted a fair, ambitious and legally binding treaty to head-off climate catastrophe.

Holding up banners reading: "Politicians Talk, Leaders Act", the activists demanded action and not merely words from Presidents and Prime Ministers during their Friday session of the climate summit.

How far will you go?

World leaders have failed us. They have walked away from the global summit in Copenhagen without a treaty to save the climate.  

They are not done yet, and neither are we.

More than 15 million people joined in the call from Greenpeace and the other tcktcktck partners such as Avaaz, 350, Oxfam, and WWF, to demand a fair, ambitious, binding treaty to stop climate change. And until we have that, we're going to continue building the biggest mass movement the world has ever seen.

Juantxo, Joris, Nora, and Christian were willing to risk jail time to do something about climate change. What are you going to do? You can start by signing up as a climate activist.

Take action

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