Maude Barlow and Council of Canadians staff participated in the 10,000-person strong ‘Reclaim Power!’ march in Copenhagen yesterday.

The march was needed because of the severity of the threat to the climate, the false solutions being proposed at COP 15, and the official conference’s failure to address deep emission reductions and climate financing for the global South.

“We are calling for climate justice, we are demanding the leadership needed for humanity and the planet,” said Barlow.

Despite repeated announcements from organizers that the march was peaceful and non-violent, Danish police attacked the several thousand people there and reportedly arrested more than 230 people.

The police used tear gas, pepper spray, batons, and dogs to forcibly end the assembly, which had been organized to advance the call for climate justice.

“We have a right to be here, we have a right to hold a people’s assembly,” said Andrea-Harden Donahue, energy campaigner with the Council of Canadians.

“This was very clearly a peaceful and disciplined protest. The police pushed and pushed, and then attacked with brutality,” added Barlow.

Various media stories with Maude’s comments on this include:

“The message from this march …is that legitimate, democratic dissent is not welcome here. Everybody was sprayed.”–gloom-and-fury-grip-copenhagen

“There’s got to be a way for legitimate free speech and for dissent to take place. This was non-violent. This was peaceful. They’ve been locked out of the Bella Centre so where else are you going to speak except from the street?”

Please also note that video footage and photos from the protest are available at:

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Brent Patterson

Brent Patterson is a political activist and writer. He has worked in solidarity with revolutionary Nicaragua, advocated for the rights of prisoners in jails and federal prisons, taken part in civil...