Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fasten your seatbelts... could be a bumpy ride. For a few days we have been seeing handbills for organized protests to occur today. The protests are being organized by environmental groups and have the potential to attract a really large number of people. It will interesting to see how things play out this afternoon. Officially, the group is scheduled to get together in the main square downtown and then march over the next couple of hours down to the Bella Center, the location of the conference. When they arrive, they are planning a candlelight vigil outside the Bella Center for a couple of hours so that the delegates (at least those who do not have access to special entrances) will see the protest as they leave the conference.

Hopefully, that's all it will be. There is a huge security presence here though and the Danish police are prepared for things in case they get out of hand. I'm not sure if that is good or bad. It should be apparent enough in time. Desmond Tutu is supposed to be involved in the protest downtown which, if anything, should help ensure that things stay sane and peaceful. My worry is that passions are running high on all sides and the combination of high emotion, large crowds, and a hyper-anxious security force is rarely a recipe for low key protests.

I am not too concerned about the environmental groups that pack the Bella Center and are organizing the protests. But there also seems to be a more dangerous undercurrent that hopefully will remain there. The Copenhagen Police have been zipping around town making arrests and uncovering caches of paintbombs and homemade siege engines apparently designed to allow quick access to areas protected by tall fences (like the Bella Center?). Some of the people passing out fliers are a little more extreme than others. Yesterday we grabbed some handbills being passed out by LaRouchies outside the Bella Center security that made some strange claims about the intent of the conference (global dictatorship by a moneyed oligarchy) and the threats that any international agreement may pose to people worldwide. In this, we seem to have come full circle and found agreement between the far left and the far right.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if I would describe Lyndon LaRouche ("LaRouchies ", right?) as a far lefty, just a lefty with some megalomanical tendencies. Same as the right-wingers, he is afraid of someone other than him having a say in the global mindset this important issue.

    It's really disheartening to hear about such potential for violence there. Though I think it's a good idea that there is some kind of creative protest urging leaders to do the right thing, violence will only hinder that goal.

    Stay safe!


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