Monday, December 14, 2009

UN Registration Lines reach capacity, people left out in the cold

Today I spent almost 8 hours in line for registration for the COP15. They day was cold at 1 degree C, and the line stretched outdoors for over 300 meter pass the gates of the Bella Center.

The UN really made a mistake underestimating the time needed to process delegates, observers, and NGOs. People around me grew frustrated, I seen many people approach the security staff in yellow jackets, displaying invitation letters. They would say "I am officially invited, why do I have to wait in this line", They would answer, "everyone in the line is invited."

As the night grew, the crowds grew impatient. The usually respectable people, became a protest mob chanting "Shame on you UN" and "We Want In".

They whole experience was a nightmare. The cold, hunger, and energy used to wait in line standing for hours was almost too much to bare. People who where scheduled to make presentations next to me in line were denied access and missed speeches to give. Reporters who registered for a press pass months ago still had to do the line, not making it in to report.

For me, this was my third attempt to register. Saturday I came too late to make registration. Sunday the registration was closed, and now today they were overwhelmed. Tomorrow I will try again and hope to get in. At least people in the lines were interesting to talk to.

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