Copenhagen

Protesters knocked back in effort to penetrate already-crowded meeting hall for UN climate talks

By Alexander Kelly

COPENHAGEN – As protesters tried but failed to penetrate the conference center where negotiators are hashing out an international climate treaty, the United Nations today barred about 1,000 environmentalists who had previously been granted credentials.

[caption id="attachment_7374" align="alignleft" width="226" caption="Police used pepper spray, police dogs and their batons to keep demonstrators from getting inside the climate talks. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan."]Police used pepper spray, police dogs and their batons to keep demonstrators from getting inside the climate talks. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan.[/caption]

Meanwhile, InvestigateWest photographer Christopher Crow was arrested for the second time this week, this time as he tried to photograph the protesters attempting to break into the Bella Center amid barking police dogs and clouds of tear gas. About 230 demonstrators were arrested, police said.

The UN cited security concerns to justify ejecting whole delegations sent to the talks by environmental groups. But officials at the same time said they expected to expel increasingly large numbers of environmental delegates as the talks in the overcrowded center wend their way toward a Friday conclusion, and 119 heads of state arrive with their entourages.

The conference center's maximum capacity is 20,000, according to the facility’s website. The UN, however, accredited up to 45,000 for the conference.

Journalists have had trouble getting into the meeting hall.

InvestigateWest photographer again arrested at United Nations climate talks

COPENHAGEN -- For the second time in a week, an InvestigateWest photographer trying to cover protests against the United Nations climate treaty negotiations here has been arrested.

Christopher Crow was taken into custody along with a number of protesters attempting to get inside the Bella Center, where the international summit is being held, InvestigateWest correspondent Alexander Kelly reports.

Kelly will have a more detailed dispatch forthcoming.

Crow was also arrested on Sunday while covering demonstrators who were on their way to shut down Copenhagen harbor in protest of the "cap  and trade" policies international negotiators are haggling over.

Those policies, critics say, are misguided because they allow corporations to buy and sell the right to emit planet-warming gases such as carbon dioxide.  Proponents of the system point to the way it has helped ratchet down sulfur dioxide levels in the United States, lessening the impact of acid rain.

-- Robert McClure

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, at Copenhagen climate talks, says "conspicuous conservation" on the way

By Alexander Kelly and Blair Kelly

COPENHAGEN -- Outgoing Seattle mayor Greg Nickels, attending the United Nations climate treaty summit here, says in an interview that Americans need to rethink what represents a successful economy. He says making buildings energy efficient and similar measures should take the economic place of manufacturing lots of stuff:

See more from Nickels on how he sees his role in Copenhagen and how Seattle led in the fight to curb 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:

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: