The creation of an ecological world – People’s assembly @ COP15

The COP15 happened in Denmark in the cold winter of 2009. People already affected by climate change aswell as ecological activists working for a better world, came together, worked together, protested together, many even got arrested together. They tried to tell the world leaders what sort of world they want, they tried to build examples of that world there and then. A very important dialogue happened in the cold streets: The People’s assembly, it was a first step in an open dialogue toward the creation of that world we want to live in.

peoples assembly

VID of the assembly:

This article was originally posted in 2010 here as:

(Copenhagen ’09) Reclaim Power, that talk, that “riot”, that action, the consequences

 Just over a month ago in Copenhagen’s free town of Cristiania there were firey words spoken, followed by baracades of fire, conflict with riot police and mass arrests of climate justice activists. The talk, with Noami Klein and others, led to the later arrest of Tadzio Muller for “instigating a riot” under the new Danish “anti terrorist laws“. The talk was our “party night”, December 14th 2009, 2 days before the RECLAIM POWER demo… PUSHING FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE


Below is the video compilation of that important talk, what happened after and what that has led to. Reclaim Power was not an end in itself, it was only that hugely difficult and important first step…

(This post also appears on climate caravan blog | climate indymedia | indymedia ireland)

That talk

Reclaim Power with Naomi Klein, Michael Heart, Tadzio Müller and Lisa Fithian

(Video in 9 Parts, thanks to professorakbar, see end of article for all embedded vids)

That “riot”

Democracy Now report: Danish Police Raid Climate Justice Gathering

Meanwhile, outside the summit, Danish police are intensifying their crackdown on climate justice activists. Late last night riot police raided Copenhagens autonomous community of Christiania as it played host to a party organized by protest groups. Witnesses say police fired tear gas directly at the party as attendees were dancing and gathering inside. Some protesters were said to have thrown bottles at police and set fire to barricades. More than 200 people were reportedly arrested. The Christiania raid comes ahead of a massive act of civil disobedience planned for Wednesday. Organizers of the Reclaim Power action say theyll disrupt the summit and hold a peoples assembly giving voice to those calling for climate justice.

Indymedia video report: COP15: 12.14.09 Peoples Defense of Police Raid on Christiania Neighborhood

After a long day of demonstrations against the Canadian Tar Sands, and the issues of climate change and migration activists have been tear-gassed and arrested by police while attending an evening party. The police appear to be trying to wear down street-level opposition through constant offensive action against activists. This Video Shows fire barricades set up by people in the neighborhood to stop advancing Riot Police.

Subsequent commentaries | 14th Dec Timeline | (Guardian UK) Copenhagen: 194 arrested after protesters set fire to barricades | Night in the cells

That Action

Two days after the Party/ talk / riot night in Cristiania, a bold, self controlled NON VIOLENT group of 4000 people from all walks of life and parts of the world came together, marched in the cold, resisted police violence, made and held a space for open communication and, despite the snow, made their Peoples Assembly. That dialogue went out live over internet radio thanks to the indymedia radio team.

Peoples Assembly links | VIDEO | Peoples Assembly | Copenhagen police tackle 4,000-strong climate protest (Guardian UK) | Democracy Now RECLAIM POWER feature | AUDIO | THE PEOPLES ASSEMBLY | POST HORIZONTAL PROCESS FEEDBACK SESSION + Joyfull insights | RECLAIM POWER SOUNDSCAPE | RECLAIM POWER – press conference | After many battles in Copenhagen, where does the climate justice movement go from here | REPORT | Failure and Victory in Copenhagen (eng) | (spanish) | (french) | INTERVIEW WITH Tadzio Müller – C.J.A Spokesperson | Rising faster than the oceans | A Window to a New World | Beyond Blocktivism | Looking back at Cop15

The Consequences

The official COP15 was a disaster, everyone is agreed on that. But failure of the “world leaders” to make the necessary effective change, gives further legitimacy to us, the social movements of the world, to build on that first step that we created at the Peoples assembly. So far there are 3 main interrelated outcomes that are already being built upon: Firstly, during the days in Copenhagen a peoples declaration was worked on by many hundreds of groups from various social movements, KLIMAFORUM DECLARATION – System Change – Not Climate Change has already been signed by over 500 groups and makes the four following demands:

  • A complete abandonment of fossil fuels within the next 30 years, which must include specific milestones for every 5-year period. We demand an immediate cut in GHG of industrialized countries of at least 40% compared to 1990 levels by 2020.
  • Recognition, payment and compensation of climate debt for the overconsumption of atmospheric space and adverse effects of climate change on all affected groups and people.
  • A rejection of purely market-oriented and technology-centred false and dangerous solutions such as nuclear energy, agro-fuels, carbon capture and storage, Clean Development Mechanisms, biochar, genetically “climate-readied” crops, geo-engineering, and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), which deepens social and environmental conflicts.
  • Real solutions to climate crisis based on safe, clean, renewable, and sustainable use of natural resources, as well as transitions to food, energy, land, and water sovereignty.

Secondly, global call out for more peoples assembly’s. Already there have been some and initial reports are circulating through the email lists. Also this weekend sees a decentralised global network of social fora, like here in Catalunya (Spain) as part of the wider global FORUM SOCIAL MUNDIAL network. So we can expect more responses soon.

Thridly, after a sound criticism of the entire undemocratic COP15 process, Bolivia have called for aPeoples’ World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth’s Rights , which will last 3 days and finish on Mother Earth Day April 22, 2010 in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

One last thing, to remind all of us that after everything, we are alive here and now. Its strange and beautiful, Pachamama is not dying, she is slowly being killed by our species. So, much of the future of this story stands with you, what choices you make, what actions you take, for both yourself and for the type of world you wish for (y)our children… Enjoy your journey…

That talk, continued


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