`Occupy` movement comes to Durban climate talks

A website dedicated to "Occupy COP17" echoed the frustration of many poorer nations already facing climate impacts.

Last Updated: Nov 28, 2011, 09:54 AM IST

Durban: Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street
movement, protesters calling for "climate justice" are set to
gather tomorrow at the opening of UN climate talks in Durban,
South Africa, organisers say.

"A meeting at the `Speaker`s Corner` will be called, an
assembly," Patrick Bond, a professor at the University of
KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, told a news agency, referring to a spot near
the venue of the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) under
the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

"Negotiations have begun with the city on an authorised
protest space," said Bond, who is associated with the largely
youth-driven initiative.

A website dedicated to "Occupy COP17" echoed the
frustration of many poorer nations already facing climate
impacts with the slow pace and low ambition of the talks.

"Inside their assembly and inside their declarations the
needs of the 99 per cent are not being heard," reads a
declaration on a the site.

"Private corporations are occupying our seats in the UN
climate talks and governments corrupted by corporate influence
are claiming to represent our needs."

On Friday, South Africa`s police minister said his
country would deploy 2,500 officers to the UN climate talks
starting this week.

"Police will not tolerate criminal acts that are
disguised as demonstrations, which in some cases include
destruction of property and intimidations," said Nathi
Mthethwa.

The government has given the nod to a civil society march
next Saturday, but the minister made no mention of the Occupy
event.

PTI