Shouting “we want climate justice and we want it now”, just over a hundred people have walked the little more than two kilometers enabled by the COP28 organization and the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ( UNFCCC).
Far from the massive demonstrations in Glasgow (United Kingdom) in 2021 with more than 100,000 protesters, or Madrid with half a million or, one of the most remembered, Copenhagen (Denmark) where almost a thousand people were arrested; Dubai celebrated its particular Climate Action Day where environmental defenders from all over the planet have united in one voice: «Keep your promises.
Under the watchful eye of the event’s security, those attending the demonstration have traveled “the agreed route,” sources from the organization say, and without incident. “We don’t have much hope in this summit in which everything sounds like greenwashing,” Lari Moraes, spokesperson for the Brazilian organization Engajamundo, told this newspaper. “The beautiful and important thing is that the youth is here again so that their voices can be heard,” defended the young Brazilian.
To the rhythm of indigenous drums, protesters alternated chants, all of them approved by the UNFCCC, with climate demands. “What do we want?” asked part of the march. “The end of fossil fuels!” answered the other half.
However, this has not been the only supervision by the organization of the climate event. The United Nations also supervised, sources from the organization assured, the banners that were displayed throughout the tour. Demands that must be met under the threat of withdrawal of accreditation to access the Blue Zone, where the meetings and deliberations of the Dubai climate summit take place.
For the second consecutive year, demonstrations in defense of the planet and against climate inaction are held in a limited space within this area under United Nations legislation, because demonstrations are prohibited in the United Arab Emirates.
Weeks before the start of COP28, the United Nations and the Emirati presidency agreed that free expression would be allowed with some recommendations, including a ban on protesters waving national flags or mentioning specific countries. Thanks to this pact, small gatherings have occurred almost daily near the main plenary session of the event.
However, despite the restriction and searching for loopholes in the agreement, the armed conflict between Israel and Palestine crept into Expo2020. “Cease the fire now,” they sang during much of the march through the avenues of the Dubai fairgrounds. After two hours of music, demands and dancing, the organizers took the microphone in front of the place where the decision is expected next Tuesday. end of that summit: “Communities need to come together because what we have in common is that we are tired of everyone being harmed and the dominant economic culture being very happy to make us victims,” said Rachel Taber-Hamilton, a priestess and climate activist. US.
However, this anomalous situation is not at all new in these climatic events. Last year, the COP27 organization in Egypt set up a space for protesters to express their complaints and raise their voices.
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