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Updated: December 16, 2009 18:27 IST

Protests in Copenhagen; hundreds detained

PTI
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HUMAN TIDAL WAVE: Members of NGOs on a protest march in Copenhagen. Activists accused the participant countries of not trying to reach a new deal. Photo: AP
AP
HUMAN TIDAL WAVE: Members of NGOs on a protest march in Copenhagen. Activists accused the participant countries of not trying to reach a new deal. Photo: AP

Amid apprehensions that the talks may collapse, Copenhagen was rocked by protests today, as frustrated activits took to the streets and tried to break into the summit to establish a People's Assembly. The agitators said the participant countries' failure to come to a consensus was a failure of responsibility to their people.

Hundreds of climate activists were detained today for trying to break into the UN-sponsored Climate Summit here and establish ‘people’s assembly’, accusing the 193 participating countries of not trying to reach a new deal to combat the menace.

Police fired tear gas and arrested hundreds of protesters near the Bella Centre, the venue of the world’s largest conference on Climate, amid apprehensions that the talks may collapse.

Around 1,500 climate activists tried to march on the Bella Centre, but were prevented by the police and were taken into custody.

Authorities had barricaded the building to cut it off as the protesters had announced that they would walk to the centre and establish “People’s Assembly” there.

The protests came as world leaders begin to arrive to attend the last leg of the Climate Summit that draws to a close on Friday.

The protesters also alleged that there was lack of transparency on talks at the conference.

“Everyday individuals, local governments, and responsible companies demonstrate their commitment to solve the climate crisis. Global action on Earth Day aims to convince world leaders that a failure to reach consensus on climate agreement is a failure of responsibility to their people,” said Kathleen Rogers, President, Earth Day Network.

Negotiators from 193 countries are trying to hammer out a climate deal as the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

Speaking at COP 15, Climate Change Champion Al Gore urged the negotiators to show the political will and seal a deal for the sake of future generations.

"We cannot allow Copenhagen to become Doha. We here must reclaim the ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption. That is our challenge,” he said.

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