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Activists Arrested at Durban Climate Conference

Activists Arrested at Durban Climate Conference

As COP 17, the United Nations conference on climate change currently taking place in Durban, South Africa, enters its second week, seven Greenpeace activists were arrested  on Monday for trespassing.

The seven, who were attempting to hang a banner reading “Listen to the People, not the Polluters” from the beachfront Marine Parade Hotel, were part of a larger, peaceful occupation of a side-event hosted by the World Business Council on Sustainable Development.

Protesters from Greenpeace Africa, groundWork and other organisations highlighted the destructive role played by 12 of the world’s most polluting corporations, industries and institutions, who are trying to stifle progress towards a comprehensive and legally-binding international climate change agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which comes to an end in December 2012.

Greenpeace named and shamed the “Dirty Dozen” and their leaders as:

1.  Jorma Ollilo, Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell
2.  Lorraine Mitchell, CEO, Shell Canada
3.  David Collyer, President, Canadian Association of Petroleum
4.  Thomas Donohue, President and CEO, US Chamber of Commerce
5.  Lakshmi Mittal, Chairman and CEO, ArcelorMittal
6.  Jürgen R. Thumann, President, BusinessEurope
7.  David and Charles Koch, Koch Industries
8.  Marius Kloppers, CEO, BHP Billiton
9.  Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF
10. Jean-Guy Carrier, Secretary-General, International Chamber of Commerce
11. Jack N Gerard, President, American Petroleum
12. Brian Dames, CEO, Eskom

The arrests come at a time when former Irish President and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, declared that international civil society should be engaging in civil disobedience on climate change and encouraged the “Occupy” movement to tackle the issues involved directly. Clearly the Durban police disagree.

While the planet’s climate bureaucrats continue to prevaricate over plans that are likely to provide too little too late even if they actually manage to come to an agreement, the latest scientific data show that global CO2 emissions have increased by half in the last two decades.

We’re running out of time. And fast.

Andreas is a book shop manager and freelance writer in Cape Town, South Africa. Follow him on Twitter: @Andreas_Spath


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10:52AM PST on Dec 11, 2011

no one who is trying to save the environment,animals, people,or buildings,trees should ever be arrested, but listened to, its a shame this world lives,runs and thrives or corruption and destruction

10:49AM PST on Dec 11, 2011

human greed will destroy us all. and very soon. greed cannot be reasoned with. sorry guys.

3:43AM PST on Dec 11, 2011

Arrest the Dirty Dozen instead!

9:24PM PST on Dec 10, 2011


5:17PM PST on Dec 10, 2011

Climate change is very concerning. We humans must reduce our fossil fuel use significantly, and quickly. Switch to green electricity and go car-free if you can! Eating much less meat will help also.

12:59AM PST on Dec 10, 2011

I love the fact that Mary Robinson supported protestors - they need the involvement of high-profile leaders.

1:20PM PST on Dec 9, 2011

Why did they arrest Greenpeace and the others ? People have a say on the planet Earth. I signed the petition. It's not fair. When I vote for leaders, I want them to listen to the people. They should remember that we pay them with our taxes.

1:01PM PST on Dec 9, 2011

I agree and then put the interstate and highways max. speed at 55 mph that would save a lot of oil and most of all lives it's been proven.

Why is everyone is such a hurry does your life depend on it; it better because your putting it at risk.

11:25AM PST on Dec 9, 2011


9:17AM PST on Dec 9, 2011

I propose a law that mandates that anyone who doesn't have a job "requiring larger vehicles", i.e. transporters, construction workers etc. be limited to driving a 4 cylinder vehicle. This would cut auto emissions in half, "right now", at no cost. The same way you need a special license to drive an 18 wheeler, you will need proof at purchase, or DMV owner transfer, that you have a business that "requires larger vehicles". Dealerships can still sell their large vehicles to those customers, but the "forced demand" for 4 cylinder cars would create jobs to producing more of them. The only cost would be to legislate and enact this much needed and sensible law. Any one who doesn't believe that we're, at least, contributing to climate change at this point in our planets history, with all the knowledge we have, is either ignorant, or doesn't care. Polar bears are eating their own cubs to survive! We can't afford to let this literally fatal evironmental assault go on. This is something we could all do right now.

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