Climate Change

Nickels in Copenhagen: Seattle showed a thousand other cities the way to curb climate change

By Alexander Kelly and Blair Kelly

COPENHAGEN -- Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, here for the United Nations summit aimed at reaching a global climate treaty, outlines how Seattle has led in the fight to curb global warming. He led a campaign that saw many of his fellow members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors pledge their cities to cut greenhouse gas emissions as called for the by the Kyoto Protocol:

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels at climate summit

By Alexander Kelly and Blair Kelly

COPENHAGEN -- Outgoing Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, whose time in office was notable because he rallied city governments across the country and overseas to fight climate change, is here for the United Nations summit aimed at reining in climate change. This is the first of three segments of his interview that InvestigateWest will be posting. In it, Nickels he explains his role in Copenhagen:

"No borders" protest outside Copenhagen climate talks escalates to vandalism

Editor's note: InvestigateWest videographer Blair Kelly captured the scene as activists attending the so-called "No Borders" protest outside the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen tore up a big prop meant to illustrate the size of a ton of carbon dioxide.

As Copenhagen climate talks stall, protesters stage "No borders" protest outside Danish parliament

Editor's note: On a day that saw Third World nations threaten to walk out of the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen over efforts to kill the Kyoto Protocol, climate activists staged what they called a "No Borders" protest outside the Danish Parliament. We're all in this together, the demonstrators were saying on a day when, inside the talks, that sentiment was not an easy one to find. Here are some photos from the protest:

[caption id="attachment_7318" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Police dog gets edgy at a standoff between police and protesters. No arrests were made despite several incidences of vandalism. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan."]Police dog gets edgy at a standoff between police and protesters. No arrests were made despite several incidences of vandalism. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_7317" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Demonstrators took off with a big balloon that was set up near the entrance to the talks to show the volume of one ton of carbon dioxide. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan."]Demonstrators took off with a big balloon that was set up near the entrance to the talks to show the volume of one ton of carbon dioxide. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan.[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_7316" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="You can't exactly say a good time was had by all.

Why did Copenhagen cops arrest InvestigateWest photographer covering climate protest?

Try not to get arrested.

That was my advice to the young journalists traveling thousands of miles to cover the United Nations climate-treaty negotiations going on in Copenhagen this month. I said it because it's a truism: a journalist in jail can't file. He or she is not able to do what he or she is there to do -- send back information for the world to see. And we knew there were likely to be some massive arrests as young activists sought in Copenhagen to spur real commitments to tackling climate change.

Fortunately, InvestigateWest Editor and Executive Director Rita Hibbard was part of the discussion. She quickly followed up my admonition with something like: "But make sure you're close enough to capture the action." She emphasized that we can't very well cover a protest march without being pretty close to the marchers, and that we had a right to be there.

 

InvestigateWest photographer Christopher Crow found himself yesterday trying to balance those two pieces of advice in the blur of a fast-moving demonstration. He was in a group of about 275 demonstrators arrested when Copenhagen cops cracked down on a protest that, to that point at least, had been peaceful. (It should be said, though, that the protesters had been pretty open about the fact that they were trying to shut down Copenhagen's harbor.)

Now, Chris probably could have gotten away. InvestigateWest correspondent Alexander Kelly, photograph Mark Malijan and videographer Blair Kelly were there and managed to scoot. But should Chris have been arrested? Absolutely not! It really honks me off that the police not only detained him at the scene -- it's possible to make a mistake in the heat of the moment -- but insisted on taking him to one of the makeshift holding areas that are serving as jails for the climate protesters.

Byline: 

Protesters: We were peaceful before arrests started

Editor's note: Near the site of the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen, a spokesman for Climate Justice Action acknowledges that the protesters arrested yesterday intended to shut down the city's harbor. Instead police moved in on what was up to that point a peaceful protest, stopping the marchers far from the harbor. InvestigateWest photographer Christopher Crow was arrested along with about 275 protesters.

In this interview with InvestigateWest correspondent Alexander Kelly and videographer Blair Kelly, Ed Thompson of Climate Justice Action explains the demonstrators' reasoning, and says more big protests are planned later this week:

Videos document struggles between police, protesters at Copenhagen climate treaty talks

InvestigateWest videographer Blair Kelly intimately captured the feel of the so-called "Hit the Production" street protests in Copenhagen, designed to influence the United Nations' climate treaty talks happening in the Danish capital. The second video is particularly intriguing in that it includes a brief clip of InvestigateWest photographer Christopher Crow as he's hauled to the paddy wagon, followed by a really interesting retort from a Danish cop to a protester:

Christopher Crow's photos of Copenhagen climate protest available following his arrest, release

OK, now that InvestigateWest photographer Christopher Crow has been released by Danish authorities, we thought we should offer a look at what he was capturing when he was so unfairly swept up by police while covering protests of the emerging United Nations climate treaty.

These shots are from just before Chris was arrested, as protesters tried unsuccessfully to shut down the harbor in Copenhagen, where negotiators from around the globe are trying to lay the groundwork for a global pact to rein in global warming:

[caption id="attachment_7230" align="aligncenter" width="199" caption="InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow"]InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_7231" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow"]InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_7232" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Danish cop ties protester's hands. InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow."]Danish cop ties protester's hands. InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow.[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_7241" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Once trapped inside the police barrier, demonstrators were informed they would be searched before the demonstration would be allowed to continue.