Copenhagen, January 1st 2010
Something is rotten (but not just) in Denmark. As a matter of fact, thousands of people have been considered, without any evidence, a threat to the society. Hundreds have been arrested and some are still under detention, waiting for judgement or under investigation. Among them, us, the undersigned.
We want to tell the story from the peculiar viewpoint of those that still see the sky from behind the bars.
A UN meeting of crucial importance has failed because of several contradictions and tensions that have shown up during the COP15. The primary concern of the powerfuls was the governance of the energy supply for neverending growth. This was the case whether they were from the overdeveloped world, like the EU countries or the US, or from the so-called developing countries, like China or Brazil.
At odds, hundreds of delegates and thousands of people in the streets have raised the issue that the rationale of life must be (and actually is) opposed to that of profit. we have strongly affirmed our will to stop anthropic pressure on the biosphere.
A crisis of the energy paradigm is coming soon. The mechanisms of global governance have proven to be overhelmingly precarious. The powerfuls failed not only in reaching an agreement on their internal equilibrium but also in keeping the formal control of the discussion.
Climate change is an extreme and ultimate consequence of the violence of the capitalistic growth paradigm. People globally are increasingly showing the willingness of taking the power to rebel against that violence. we have seen that in Copenhagen, as well as we have seen that same violence. Hundreds of people have been arrested without any reason or clear evidence, or for participating in peaceful and legitimate demonstrations. Even mild examples of civil disobedience have been considered as a serious threath to the social order.
In response we ask – What order do we threaten and who ordered it? Is it that order in which we do not anymore own our bodies? The order well beyond the terms of any reasonable “social contract” that we would ever sign, where our bodies can be taken, managed, constrained and imprisoned without any serious evidence of crime. Is it that order in which the decisions are more and more shielded from any social conflicts? Where the governance less and less belongs to people, not even through the parliament? As a matter of fact, non-democratic organisms like the WTO, the NB, the G-whatever rule beyond any control.
We are forced to notice that the theater of democracy is a broken one as soon as one approaches the core of the power. That is why we reclaim the power to the people. We reclaim the power over our own lives. Above all, we reclaim the power to counterpose the rationale of life and of the commons to the rationale of profit. It may have been declared illegal, but still we consider it fully legitimate.
Since no real space is left in the broken theater, we reclaimed our collective power – Actually we expected it – to speak about the climate and energy issues. Issues that, for us, involve critical nodes of global justice, survival of man and energy independence. We did marching with our bodies.
We prefer to enter the space where the power is locked dancing and singing. We would have liked to do this at the Bella center, to disrupt the session in accord with hundreds of delegates. But we were, as always, violently hampered by the police. They arrested our bodies in an attempt to arrest our ideas. we risked our bodies, trying to protect them just by staing close to each other. We value our bodies: We need them to make love, to stay together and to enjoy life. They hold our brains, with beautifull bright ideas and views. They hold our hearts filled with passion and joy. Nevertheless, we risked them. we risked our bodies getting locked in prisons.
In fact, what would be the worth of thinking and feeling if the bodies did not move? Doing nothing, letting-it-happen, would be the worst form of complicity with the business that wanted to hack the UN meeting. At the COP15 we moved, and we will keep moving.
Exactly like love, civil disobedience can not just be told. We must make it, with our bodies. Otherwise, we would not really think about what we love, and we would not really love what we think about. It’s as simple as that. It’s a matter of love, justice and dignity.
How the COP15 has ended proves that we were right. Many of us are paying what is mandatory for an obsessive, pervasive and total repression: To find a guilty party at the cost of inventing it (along with the crime perhaps).
We are detained with evidently absurd accusations about either violent actions that actually did not take place or conspiracies and organizing of law-breaking actions.
We do not feel guilty for having shown, together with thousands, the reclamation of the independence of our lives from profit’s rule. If the laws oppose this, it was legitimate to peacefully – but still conflictually – break them.
We are just temporarily docked, ready to sail again with a wind stronger than ever. It’s a matter of love, justice and dignity.
- Luca Tornatore, Italian social centres network “see you in Copenhagen”.
- Natasha Verco, Climate Justice Action
- Johannes Paul Schul Meyer
- Arvip Peschel
- Christian Becker
- Kharlanchuck Dzmitry
- Cristoph Lang
- Anthony Arrabal
Tag ikke mit ord for det, ordene står at læse i The Guardian:
The problem the Danish government faces gets bigger by the hour. Clearly the government is desperate for the UN climate summit in Copenhagen to be seen as a success, regardless of whether the deal done is capable of slowing down climate change in a just way. But it is faced with an ever-swelling army of critics who believe this issue is too important for a stitched-up compromise, negotiated late at night between corporate lobbyists and rich-country governments in conference hotel rooms.
For months the Danish government has been preparing to silence the critics – even approving new police powers to clamp down on protest. Last month we wrote to express our concern that these powers could easily be used to prevent those without a voice at the summit expressing themselves. The Danish government responded that “the new [police powers] will in no way affect peaceful demonstrators”.
The sight of 1,000 activists being held in freezing temperatures without basic rights for many hours clearly exposes the Danish authorities’ argument. So do reports of pepper spray being used on protesters held in cages, the constant raids on meetings and sleeping quarters, the arrest of a civil society spokesperson on the eve of yesterday’s demonstration and the many more stories of serious infringements of civil liberties. […]
This reflects exactly what is happening inside the conference centre, where criticism or alternative voices have been ignored and are now being silenced. Developing countries have felt so marginalised by a process clearly under the control of rich countries that they staged a walk-out on Tuesday. The same day the Danish prime minister Rasmussen sought to impose an agreement from above, killing off the legitimate negotiations and the binding Kyoto agreements. Rich countries have been trying to wriggle out of their emission reduction commitments throughout Copenhagen, and developing countries are right to resist.
Today, many developing countries are leaving the centre again to join protesters outside. Also today, civil society organisations including Friends of the Earth, Avaaz and Tck Tck Tck have been thrown out of the conference. Incredibly, delegates and media have been told they will lose their accreditation if they talk to these banned NGOs. No credible justification has been given for this behaviour.
Hvad det så end er, så regn med at DF-regeringen nok skal forkludre det med deres noget specielle syn på borgerrettigheder og demokrati.
Bemærk, hvordan “crowd control” åbenbart består i at tæske løs på de nærmeststående, helt uden tanke for, hvem eller hvordan man rammer.
Men selvfølgelig er Danmark ikke en politistat, som forfatter Thomas Strømsholt skriver i et læserbrev i Jyllands-Posten:
Vi ved nemlig godt, at der i enhver demonstration findes lømler, som kun er ude på at ødelægge det for de andre. Disse lømler ser som regel afvigende ud. Folk i sort tøj og Hare Krishna-munke er særligt suspekte, og derfor må de ansvarlige myndigheder gribe til administrativ frihedsberøvelse.
Det kan dog være nødvendigt at frihedsberøve hele bundtet for deres egen skyld, idet de uforvarende kunne komme til at forstyrre den offentlige orden.
Når demonstranterne så har siddet og kølet af i nogle timer, bliver de sluppet fri, men selvfølgelig kun, hvis de har opført sig pænt.
Som en yderligere storsindet gestus fra politiets side vil der kun i yderst sjældne tilfælde blive rejst sigtelse mod nogen.
I hvilket andet land ses mon et så gemytligt forhold mellem borgere og politi?
Så naturligvis kan man ikke sammenligne Danmark med en politistat. Der bliver hverken trukket stave eller affyret vandkanoner, hvis blot man ikke generer politiet – og bliver hjemme.
Dansk politi har i går anholdt Tadzio Müller, som er koordinator for mange af demonstrationerne i forbindelse med klimatopmødet i går – tilsyneladende uden andet at have det i, end at han har været med til at arrangere dagens store march mod Bella-centret.
The Guardian beretter:
Tadzio Mueller, a spokesman for the umbrella group Climate Justice Action (CJA), was arrested today by plainclothes police as he left the Bella centre, where the official climate talks are taking place. The police are holding him at the Retorvej detention centre, and he will be charged in court tomorrow morning. The police refused to say what charges will be brought.
Kevin Smith, an organiser for activist group Climate Camp, said: “It’s unbelievable that in a supposed democracy, undercover police are silencing spokespeople that are criticising the climate talks. How far are the Danish authorities prepared to go to stop tomorrow’s protest from going ahead?”
Mueller’s arrest comes on the eve of a Reclaim Power action that aims to “disrupt the sessions and open a space inside the UN area to hold a people’s assembly” from 10am tomorrow.
Smith added: “The Danish government knows just how embarrassing it will be when hundreds of delegates walk out tomorrow to join us in the protest tomorrow against the climate talks, and it is trampling over all manner of civil liberties to try and prevent that from happening.”
På The Independent har man også bemærket dansk politis noget brutale fremfærd mod alt, hvad der ligner ridser i lakken på byens fine konference-image:
The demonstration will put added pressure on the conference organisers, who have been struggling to cope with the sheer number of people descending on the site each day. Yesterday, hundreds of delegates, NGO representatives and journalists were left standing outside in freezing temperatures for up to nine hours after the UN’s accreditation system broke down.
Police have adopted a zero-tolerance approach to the activists, handcuffing anyone who commits minor misdemeanour and sitting them on the street for at least an hour. Yesterday morning, they persevered with this pre-emptive policy, pulling over cars and bicycles on the main routes into the city and searching them.
En af de anholdte fra i lørdags er Emily Apple, som beskriver sin oplevelse i en kommentar til The Guardian, hvor hun opfordrer til, at man ikke finder sig i det:
Mass repression requires mass resistance and we have to be able to say no when dealing with large policing operations such as this. Many people understandably looked terrified, and for a large number, it was the first time they had been arrested. However, arrests on this scale required co-operation from arrestees – people were not actually physically forced to sit in lines, they could have moved. Where we were, detainees vastly outnumbered the police, and they would not have been able to handle large numbers of people being incompliant, and there certainly would not have been the resources to arrest so many people.
Spirits in the steel holding cages were high and resistance was in the air. Some broke down the doors of their cages, and the large warehouse echoed to caterwauling and chants of “No justice, no peace! Fuck the police!” The police nearly lost control of the situation, being forced to send in riot police and dogs, and it showed what could have been possible if more had resisted.
Unfortunately, we are too often the agents of our own repression. The culture of obedience and fear of reprisals is often too much for people to challenge. However, the rewards and sense of empowerment that come from refusing to co-operate far outweigh any consequences.
I Danmark er folk med forstand på jura og borgerrettigheder heller ikke imponeret over politiets strategi eller deres nye beføjelser. Forsvarsadvokat Thorkild Høyer siger til Politiken, at anholdelsen af Tadzio Müller er “langt ude” og en trussel mod ytringsfriheden:
Ifølge forsvarsadvokat Thorkild Høyer er ingen personer tidligere i Danmark blevet varetægtsfængslet på det grundlag, som politiet forsøger at bruge i sagen mod den tyske klimatalsmand Tadzio Müller.
Tyskeren er talsmand for netværket Climate Justice Action, og blev anholdt af politiet kort efter en tale på FNs klimatopmøde COP 15 i dag i Bella Center.
»Når man læser de udtalelser Tadzio Müller er kommet med i pressen, så har han klart understreget, at han går ind for, at der skal være fredelige demonstrationer. Der skal ikke være nogle konfrontationer med personer«, siger advokaten.
»Jeg synes, det lugter for meget af, at politiet bruger den stemning, der er i øjeblikket og den medvind lømmelpakken har givet dem til at begrænse de folkelige organisationers mulighed for at indtage debatten«, siger han.
»At begynde at fængsle folk på noget de ikke har gjort endnu, hvor man ikke engang ved, om det indebærer en overtrædelse af straffeloven, det er fanme langt ude. Og det må du gerne citere mig for«, siger Thorkild Høyer.
Og når andre fredelige aktivister begynder at klage over konsekvent forfølgelse og chikane fra politiets side, begynder billedet at blive klart. Danmark er ikke så rart et sted, som det har været. Det er et sted, hvor man kan blive anholdt for at sige sin mening, og hvor politiet uhæmmet bruger sine beføjelser til at slå ned på al modstand. I det mindste begynder folk nu at få øjnene op for det også uden for landets grænser.