Flooding the streets of Copenhagen for climate justice
Yesterday more than five thousand people from all over the world took to the cold streets of Copenhagen to demand climate justice and an end to offsetting emissions.
The flood began outside the Klimaforum - the civil society event on climate change - with speeches from Nnimmo Bassey, the Friends of the Earth International Chair, Henry Saragih, General Coordinator of La Via Campesina and Amparo Miciano, from the World March for Women.
Nnimmo rallied the crowd with a stirring call to action. He demanded climate justice and called for end to false climate change solutions such as offsetting.
"To those who want to pollute at home and plant a tree in Africa, we say no," he shouted.
Around 5000 people, dressed in blue ponchos and carrying 'demand climate justice' flags, came to the march from every corner of Europe and beyond.
Reinford Mwangonde from Friends of the Earth Malawi said why it was so important for him to be there:
"In Malawi we now have flooding, desperate droughts and very short rains. This doesn't give farmers enough time to grow anything. Animals are also suffering because there is not enough green land. It's a daily struggle for Malawian farmers."
"Africa is at the front line of climate change and that is why I am in Copenhagen, to demand climate justice now!" he concluded.
After the speeches came the arrival of the carbon traders; sinister men and women in suits shouting:
"Come offset your carbon emissions. We're selling dirty air and buying clean air"
As the carbon traders left the stage they were pursued by the crowd, who 'flooded' the streets, chanting "No offsetting. Climate justice now!"
The Flood also carried messages from directly affected by climate change who couldn't make it to Copenhagen. These messages formed part of the 'climate capsule' that is currently on display in the Klimaforum.
The Flood ended in front of the Danish Parliament with the creation of a massive human banner reading 'Offsetting is a false solution'.
The crowd then joined an estimated 100,000 demonstrators to march to the conference centre, where the official climate talks are taking place, with their messages of climate justice now!
It was a truly inspiring day where our demands were heard loud and clearly. Only next week will we know whether world leaders have listened.