Last night I live blogged an incredible sit-in at the Copenhagen climate negotiations. Young people sat-in and refused to leave until they had read the names of 11 million people who have called for a fair, ambitious and binding climate agreement, and until their demands had been met. Read below and start from the bottom for the whole story.
This action has inspired solidarity actions around the world. Including one that just occurred at the U.S. State Department offices in Washington, DC. Watching www.itsgettinghotinhere.org and www.powershift09.org for breaking action.
1:54 More to come - don't think that this is the end of us. Over 150 people watching live stream. Thousands of people know what's going on. Thanks everyone for joining us, please continue to leave comments below. Gotta run before I get swept away!
1:51 Security ready to crack down. Jeh is giving an impromptu speech, paraphrasing "we have been told by the Secretariat that if we risk arrest, we could jeopardize the ability for ALL of civil society to be involved in coming days. We have come to consensus, despite reservation, that we will take our concerns outside and take it to the streets. We are calling for mass civil disobedience, and solidarity actions around the country. Join us." Applause!!!
1:44 Spoke too soon. Security showed up, appointed person liaising with them.
1:43 No signs of security yet. Live Web Stream is going strong and being are contacting us from all over the world. This is truly incredible. Thank you for all of the support.
1:33 Members of civil society being run out of different corners of the Bella Center - security is definitely making a sweep. Sitters are clear they aren't trying to make trouble for security, just trying to make sure their future is secured.
1:25 Security circling corridors. Team has sat back down and is waiting to see what happens... Reading of names picks up again, still bringing the voices of 11 million people into the Bella Center.
1:12 Team meeting to figure out plan for night. Things are getting quiet around here, but your comments and tweets are keeping it energetic!
12:56 We have a Live Stream set-up now. Hear from the folks sitting-in themsleves: http://www.powershift09.org/live
12:30 Solidarity sit-ins called for.
12:00 We made it to midnight! As the conference center begins to empty out and janitors start tidying up the space, we're joined by an unexpected guest - a little snowman from the storm that's hit Copenhagen this evening. We're also proud to announce that since we've officially hit Thursday morning, some of the young people here have begun their day of fasting in solidarity with the Climate Justice Fast. Interested in helping out the effort and joining the likes of Cate Blanchett, Vandana Shiva, and Mary Robinson? Fast in solidarity with those sitting in the center and calling for climate justice all around the world!
11:45 Maryam puts up an incredible personal post about her experience.
11:09 Wow! Your comments of support are incredible and we just blew past 114 of them. It couldn't be better timing: one of the big plenary debates just let out and delegates are coming out into the hallways. They'll be seeing the sit in and hearing your comments that we'll be passing on to them. Please, keep the comments coming and spread this thread to your friends. Know that you have a voice inside these negotiations and help make our collective demand for action even louder.
10:38 Thanks to the support of all of you online, this action is now resonating louder and louder here at the UN Climate Talks and beyond. But we still need your support. As you can see from the video of the incredible Dessima Williams below, the youth at the sit-in are talking with delegates from around the world as they pass by the demonstration. We want to be able to tell these negotiators -- many of whom are now coming under immense pressure from rich countries to back down and compromise their very survival -- that the world supports them. We know that 19 people at a sit-in isn't enough -- we need your voice too. Can you add your message of support to this post and push it past 100 comments? We'll repeat those messages to our heroes as they walk by, and remind the countries blocking progress that the world is watching!
10:15 During the sit-in we spotted one of our climate heroes here in Copenhagen, Dessima Williams, chairwoman of the AOSIS (small island state negotiating block). We asked her for her reactions on the sit-in, and told us an incredible story! 14 years ago she sat in at this SAME center for 8 days to urge military funding move towards women focused development. A true hero, and the struggle goes on, check it out:
10:03 About 20 yards from the sit-in, fossil fuel hack is interviewed by Fox news - people riled up by sit-in respond with "boos" and laughter. He's laughed off the camera.
9:40 Photos of the sit-in are now flying around the world on the news wires:
Also, please keep the comments coming. As the hours drag on it becomes more difficult for the youth here to hold their position at this crucial time and we need your support. Even now, at nearly 10 pm negotiations are continuing here in Copenhagen and will go late into the evening. Pressure is building by the hour on poor countries to back off their call for strong action and we've heard from many delegates that it's our voices -- your voices -- that make the difference.
9:26 Sit-in still going strong. Lots of interviews still happening.
Here is some video from the visit with John Kerry:
8:53 Photo up on the AP!
8:15 Messages of support flow in from people around the world on Twitter and on the blog:
Bruno Sarda: Pls tell them how much we appreciate their courage and determination on behalf of the entire world, incl those beating up on them!
Nemo: Youth are the gatekeepers of humanity's future. Help us, Generation 350, you're our only hope.
Liz McDowell: GO GO GO!!!! We're with you!
Pier LaFarge: You represent the voices of so many. Thank you for your courage and endurance. In solidarity, and hope.
Xhemai Mato (Albanian Leader of the Environmental NGO Coalition, the Eco Movement) in-person: "They don't like this kinda protest, we need this push, all people need this push."
8:05 Thank you all so much for your messages of support. We showed them to all the youth still sitting in here in the Bella Center and to many big shouts of "Thank you!" and "That's awesome! Tell them to join us!" Keep the comments coming and spread this post around so that more people can show their support for the action.
7:54 As Canadians continue sit-in in Copenhagen, they are joined by a citizen occupations of Canadian Prime Minister's Harpers office.
7:36 Senator John Kerry just walked by the sit-in, shook the hands of each of the 19 people, and told them "Thank you for your commitment." I hope Senator Kerry can convince President Obama to show the same sort of leadership when he arrives on Friday.
7:30 We've confirmed that the one person taken away by security has been released, glad he is safe. Oh, and it turns out that they turned off the lights for Earth Hour, thanks WWF!
7:23 This update comes in the form of quotes from people sitting-in:
"We want a fair, ambitious and legally binding deal. I'm prepared to not leave until we get this" - Ann, China
"We've been dragged to the side just like developing countries, that's why we tried to stay in a circle, so that the voices of these 11 million people can't be pushed aside." - Maryam, Canada
"The voices of these 11 million people can't be ignored, we won't allow it" - Dominek, Germany
7:04 All the lights in the corridor turn off, they are trying to get civil society to leave.
6:56 Rumor is that they might be kicking out all of civil society at 7 PM (4 minutes from now). We'll see what happens.
6:49 The sit-in continues, almost going for 2 hours straight. More great video below. We have an incredible team of documentarians here. Big ups to Rachel Barge for filming, Ellie Johnston for cutting the clips, and to my co-blogger Jamie Henn.
6:33 Medium risk-team has dispersed, but 17 people still reading names. Doesn't the UN realize that with fewer people it's going to take a lot more time to read through the 11 million names that are calling for a fair, ambitious and binding treaty?
6:24 Here's video of security dragging youth away from the sit-in less than 15 minutes ago:
6:21 Everyone remaining is reading names from the side of walkway, security seems okay with this for now.
6:19 People still reading names. Several taken into custody.
6:15 There are at least 15 cameras filming people and reading names. The world will hear the truth from the voices of young people.
6:12 Thanks for all the comments. I'll relay to the brave ones sitting that they have your support.
6:11 Still about 19 people reading names - super inspirational. Video coming.... Trying to figure what happened to the two people who were dragged away
6:07 Many people just dragged away. There is a bit of pandemonium and everyone is spread out. Chants of "the Whole World is Watching" coming from throughout the halls.
6:02 I just ran around the circle - this is truly global! There are people from Canada, Wales, Turkey, France, U.S., Denmark, Australia, Germany, China, Lebanon, England, Ireland, Kenya, Norway. Young people around the world are invested in each other's futures and are not about to give up.
Read on for more photos and updates.
5:57 Circle turns in-ward to huddle and decide what to do. With very little hesitation, they turn back and stay strong. Applause from on-lookers.
5:51 After 51 minutes, security finally moves in, asks them to sit on side. Young people refuse to leave, holding strong. U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change, the U.S.'s chief negotiator just walked by and definitely noticed.
5:45 Press release added at the bottom. Numbers keep building, seems like this might last for awhile!
5:34 More people join the sit-in as media continues to interview youth from around the world calling for a real deal here in Copenhagen. I'm hearing names being read from Nigeria, Jordan, the US, Canada, Australia. The world is clearly ready for action -- when the people lead, it's time for the leaders to follow.
5:18 Sit-in holding strong. Media swirling and no sign of security. Looks like they are choosing to ignore this for now. Something tells me that these people wont allow themselves to be ignored.
5:01 I'm at the heart of the Bella Center, where youth activists from around the world have set-up a sit in. They are reading aloud the names of the 15 million people who have called for a fair and ambitious treaty, and are refusing to leave until there voices are heard and demands are met.