New Internationalist

Don’t just sit there!

Issue 428

As government negotiators, corporate lobbyists and the media gear up for the biggest climate jamboree of all time, activists, campaigners and NGOs take it to the streets. The NI provides a guide to the action – whether you make it to Copenhagen or not.

In Copenhagen

The Bike Bloc: putting the fun between your legs

Art activists the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination are designing and building a ‘resistance machine’ made from hundreds of recycled bikes. The Bike Bloc is part postcapitalist bike gang, part art bike carnival, and will swarm through the streets of Copenhagen as part of the protests. Bike hackers, welders, climate campers, artists and engineers are all encouraged to take part.


7-18 December

Global civil society summit, running in parallel with the main negotiations. Laying on a vast programme of workshops, speakers, films, theatre and music.


People’s Assembly on Climate Change

Southern voices will call for a ‘People’s Protocol on Climate Change’ which is founded on the principles of people’s sovereignty, social justice, democracy, self-determination and participation. It has been developed through workshops all over the Majority World and will be ‘ratified’ on 9 December in Copenhagen, with simultaneous assemblies in other countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Morocco, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Canada.


Anti-corporate day: don’t buy the lie!

The day officially dedicated to discussing ‘Business and Climate’. Corporate leaders and lobby groups get unhindered access to decision-makers – as if they don’t have enough influence already! Activist network ‘Our Climate NOT Your Business’ is organizing a day of anti-corporate action to disrupt their agenda.


Global Day of Action
Morning: Flood for Climate Justice

Friends of the Earth International is organizing a colourful procession, which will move as a ‘human flood’ through the city. The Flood will end in one of the main squares, where participants will use their bodies and voices to create a giant living banner.

Afternoon: Planet first – people first

Aims to ‘bring to the negotiators in Copenhagen a massive, loud and visible demonstration of the world’s will to act’. Organized by a huge international coalition of environmental, peace, solidarity and development organizations, and trade unions.


Resistance is ripe!
Agriculture action day

Organized by Via Campesina, the international movement of peasants, small- and medium-sized producers, landless, rural women, indigenous people, rural youth and agricultural workers.


Hit the production of climate chaos!

‘Our economic system, the way it produces goods, and the way they are transported and consumed, is the root of climate change. On 13 December we will take action on this economic system by shutting down the harbour of Copenhagen through a mass blockade.’


Reclaim Power! Pushing for Climate Justice

Mass direct action by broad network of groups from Global South and North. Their aim is to push into the conference centre and take it over for a day, to give voice to the excluded and set out an agenda for genuine climate justice: ‘leaving fossil fuels in the ground; reasserting peoples’ and community control over resources; relocalizing food production; reducing overconsumption; recognizing the ecological and climate debt owed to the peoples of the South and making reparations; and respecting indigenous and forest peoples’ rights’.


Around the world

Climate Justice Fast!

An international hunger strike to ‘demonstrate the commitment and courage required of all nations and all global citizens if we are to solve climate change equitably’. Fasts are planned in the US, Britain, India, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Honduras, Bhutan, New Zealand and Copenhagen itself.


Adopt a Negotiator

For such an important meeting little seems to be known about what goes on behind the scenes. Adopt a Negotiator is shining a light on this diplomatic process. Since June young people have been following the lead negotiators from 12 key countries, sharing news and updates of their positions and mobilizing pressure on them at key moments. Find out what your representative is up to via the website.


30 November
Shut down big emitters

It will be 10 years since the Seattle protests against the World Trade Organization and exactly one week before the climate talks begin. To mark this, people across the world are encouraged to take direct action to shut down the activities of climate criminals and demonstrate genuine solutions.
In North America this is being co-ordinated by Mobilization for Climate Justice, a network of organizations and activists – including the infamous Yes Men – who are asking people to take the ‘Climate Pledge of Resistance’, to engage in ‘non-violent civil disobedience and risk arrest in order to get our leaders to make the right climate change choices’. Sign the pledge here:


5 December
European Day of Action

Tens of thousands of European citizens will be hopping on trains, coaches, boats and bikes to go to Copenhagen. But before they do, there are mass events in several European capitals, including Paris, Stockholm and Brussels – where the European Parliament will be surrounded. London will see a ‘Climate Emergency Bike Ride’ in the morning, a rally at noon, and a ‘Wave’ of thousands of people in the afternoon.

Photo by both photos: justin canning / stop climate chaos
Stop Climate Chaos! Photo by both photos: justin canning / stop climate chaos


12 December
Global Day of Action

Simultaneous demonstrations and events around the world, including:

‘Walk against Warming’ in cities and towns all over the country.

Alusfade-Guinea – an NGO working to protect the environment – will be organizing a demonstration in the town of N’Zérékoré, the capital of the forest region, to ‘influence the authorities and instil a sense of responsibility about the climate in individuals’.

Youth organizations in the Rift Valley are organizing a procession and public forum in Tot, in the Marakwet District. It will bring together members of civil society and focus on petitioning leaders to prevent further destruction of forests, rivers and lakes.

A rally in New Delhi will move from Ghandi’s tomb to Parliament.

Major environment and development organizations are putting on ‘Beat the Heat Now’ in Utrecht starring well-known Dutch musicians. From the event a climate train, called the Beat the Heat Express, will depart to Copenhagen with scientists and political leaders on board. The train will be covered with messages making it a huge rolling petition!

Demonstrations in different parts of the country in which several environmental and civil society organizations, student groups and some government officials are expected to participate. They will also distribute 1,200 trees for free.


Online actions
If you can’t make it to any of these events, don’t panic. During the talks there will be many online actions that you can take. Keep an eye on these websites for starters:

Friends of the Earth International

Greenpeace International

(global coalition of civil society organizations, trade unions and faith groups)

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This article was originally published in issue 428

New Internationalist Magazine issue 428
Issue 428

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