Petition to lift ban on protests at COP21

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Petition to lift ban on protests at COP21

Over 70 organisations from many countries have signed this petition.

Lift the Protest Ban

After the 13 November attacks, the French government has banned all protests during the climate negotiations in Paris in December. But at the same time the big fossil companies are allowed to continue their climate conference activities.

Call on the French president François Hollande to lift the ban on demonstrations in Paris so our voices can be heard. Join Naomi Klein and add your name to this letter:

Dear President,

We want to express our sympathy with the French people for the terrorist attacks that took place last weekend. The barbaric attacks on civilians in Paris, Ankara and Beirut in recent weeks are the latest terrible symptoms of a world economy experiencing multiple crises.

One of those crises is climate change. As you will be aware, we have driven our planet to the verge of environmental catastrophe. The impacts are being felt everywhere to a greater or lesser degree. Indeed the conflict in Syria was partly fuelled by climatic events. And unless we start enacting very different policies, climate change will increasingly fuel war, migration, poverty and dispossession.

That's why many of us are coming to Paris in the next fortnight - to demand world leaders begin the radical transformation to a low carbon economy, with serious financing to assist less industrialised countries to build societies without resort to fossil fuels. We understand that the challenge is huge. It isn't possible for politicians to carry out the changes needed without massive movements and mobilisations creating political space and will.

For this reason we are deeply concerned by the decision of your government to prohibit the mobilisations in Paris during COP21. This will make it extremely difficult for ordinary citizens of the world to make their voices heard and to create the political space necessary to build a brighter future. We believe this strips the COP process of its legitimacy.

We urge you to reconsider the decision to prohibit the demonstrations in Paris. We understand the need to keep citizens safe, including those mobilising on climate change. It must be possible to find a way to do this short of banning our demonstrations. Many other mass events and gatherings continue to happen in Paris on a daily basis. We would also like to ensure that the police treat us with dignity and that you send a clear message that our civil liberties be respected.

We must not suspend democracy and freedom while proclaiming our commitment to democracy and freedom. A peaceful world can only be built on equality, solidarity and sustainability. We must be able to say this in Paris.




France is one of those countries that will take advantage of any opportunity to place more boot heels on more necks.  I suspect it will be some time before people can exercise open forms of opposition in France, and in Belgium for that matter.