Red lines in Paris for D12

The Paris agreement was just adopted. I’ve spent the day in the streets, together with some 15,000 other red-clad peaceful demonstrators, showing the world and each other that we exist, and that we have the energy to take forward the practical solutions that the negotiated climate agreement so sorely lacks. I thought I’d share some photos for now – more reflections will come at a later point.

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After the police authorisation of the demonstration late last night, we arrived at Avenue de la Grande Armée to find the traffic already diverted. So it was merely a matter of taking to the street to demonstrate the “red lines.” There were a couple of minutes of silence at some point to honour the people who have died and will suffer from climate change, otherwise a very cheerful atmosphere.

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The huge inflatables originally intended to stop the traffic became toys that were thrown into the air and passed up and down the crowd.

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Trust the climate movement to think about people care – here a vegan organic lunch is provided in return for a donation and that you wash your plate and spoon after you’re done.

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The very front of the protest which was facing a surprisingly thin and relaxed a line of police, at least compared to what we’re used to seeing in Paris.

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The red fabric originally  held up high to show our red lines were put on the street, and people put their red tulips on in a powerful moment of serenity and respect.

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After a while, a call went out that the manifestation was over, and that we should make our way to the Eiffel tower where the next event organised by Alternatiba would take place. But hang on, all these protesters, walking together to the same place, isn’t that a march…?

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Sure enough, completely unauthorised and seemingly unplanned, we all marched from Avenue de la Grande Armée to the Eiffel tower, in the streets, the sheer number of people halting all traffic and creating one of the most enjoyable traffic jams I’ve ever seen.

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Respect to the people who took the time during the march to guerrilla plant lettuce in the parks we passed. Wonder how well it will do in December though…

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Landmarks and statues were redecorated as people passed by.

2015-12-12 14.32.14Ending up at the Eiffel tower, and some rallying speeches from Alternatiba, Via Campesina, Naomi Klein (she seems to be everywhere), and others. Completely peaceful, self-organising, and energising. “This is what democracy looks like” was chanted, and I think there was something in that.

 

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