Yesterday the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen passed a hotly disputed “anti-riot law”, less than two weeks before what is shaping up to be the largest single convergence around climate change ever. The law, passed to stymie public protest around the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen, strips people of civil liberties, freedoms, and sanctions (if not encourages) preemptive arrests for any of the 10,000’s of people expected to arrive in Copenhagen to voice concern, march, take direct action, and participate in the UN climate talks.
- Preventive arresting: Under the new law, police can detail people for up to 12 hours without any charges, just because they decide you look like a troublemaker.
- Hindrance of authorities performing their duties: Normally the penalty is a fine. Now, they can hold you for 40 days.
- Breach of the peace, or disorderly behavior while staying around after the police have broken up a demo: They have more than quadrupled fines for staying in a demo that the police have broken up is 403 euro and up to 671 euro if you are showing disorderly behavior.
Additionally (yes there’s more), Danish police said “open-air meetings may be prohibited when it is feared that they may constitute a danger to the public order”.
Another essential information if you are attending the COP15 meetings, KlimaForum09, joining a bike bloc, or just hitting the streets, is that masks in any form are illegal at any demo or protest. This means you can be arrested on your way to a protest or meeting for having a scarf in your pocket. This doesn’t mean that the police will be working with this mandate, but it does mean the law grants them the freedom to do so. All of these developments come on the heels of UK police coming under heavy scrutiny and now official investigation for aggressive tactics during this years G20 protests.
…And in other sustainability news, Copenhagen Police are taking their recycling program to another level by recycling the human cages used in last years G8 meetings in Copenhagen for the COP15 meeting. Way to go!…
Even if you are not planning on attending any marches, demonstrations, or other events, a lot can happen on your way home, so know your rights while here. Climate Justice Action, a huge coalition of justice groups, has put together a good legal briefing for those coming to Copenhagen.
The world is mobilizing as we realize that leaders such as US and China no longer have the political will or ambition to be climate leaders we need them to be. Reality is, they are towing the line of industry and inaction, and in doing so they are trading away future generations. The world is expecting a remarkable showing of people power in Copenhagen, from powerful speeches in plenary sessions, to impactful actions in the streets. We realize that no moment like Copenhagen may happen again and we must take hold of this moment.
If we do not define this moment, it will be defined for us.