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VICE NEWS: With Protests Banned in Paris, Climate Activists Embrace Other Forms of Expression

The vast conference complex that is hosting the Paris climate summit opened its doors to the general public this morning, just one day after world leaders launched the talks with a round of rallying statements and promises to combat global warming.

The inauguration of the Climate Generations areas was due to take place three days after the world’s largest climate march, which was canceled by French authorities in the wake of the November 13 terror attacks that killed 130 in and around the French capital.

According to organizers, 360 French and international civil society organizations will help bring the conference center to life during the two-week summit, which is expected to attract 40,000 visitors.

Olivia Teter and her daughter Jacqueline Puliati, 20, had traveled all the way from San Francisco to take part in Sunday’s big climate march, and to add their voice “to those who are putting pressure on world leaders.” But like scores of others, Teter and Puliati were turned away from Place de la République by police blocking access to the square. “I was very disappointed, it wasn’t the right answer,” Teter, a climate activist based in Silicon Valley, said.

Any hopes that Teter and her daughter may have had of joining protests near the conference center have also been dashed, with Paris police authorities announcing Tuesday that protests around the Le Bourget site would be banned until December 13 — two days after the end of the talks.

Under banners proclaiming “Healthy Planet & Good Jobs,” thousands of trade unionists from 75 local and national unions, highly visible in their red, blue, green, and white union uniforms, joined the People’s Climate March in New York City last September—a quantum leap from labor’s previous participation in climate actions.