Civil Society at the UN Climate Change Conference: African Activism at COP17

by Katherine Austin-Evelyn

In early December 2011, Durban, South Africa hosted the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17), otherwise known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The conference was well attended by formal delegates negotiating the future of global climate change policies and programmes, something which was highly publicised. Less publicised in the mainstream media was the attendance and demonstrations of a large contingent of civil society groups and concerned citizens from all over the globe. The officially organised ‘Global Day of Action’ saw thousands of civil society organisations represented. In addition, there were informal demonstrations, which focused on a range of climate change issues, from the autonomy of small-scale farmers to the inequity of emissions between the global north and south. Continue reading

Showdown at the Durban Disaster: Challenging the ‘Big Green’ Patriarchy

By Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project

Dedicated to Judi Bari, Emma Goldman, my mother and all of the other strong women who inspire me

GJEP's Anne Petermann (left) and GEAR's Keith Brunner (both sitting) before being arrested and ejected from the UN climate conference. Photo: Langelle/GJEP

An action loses all of its teeth when it is orchestrated with the approval of the authorities.  It becomes strictly theater for the benefit of the media.  With no intent or ability to truly challenge power. Continue reading

Activists beaten at COP17 by Durban ‘volunteers’

by CANAAN MDLETSHEand NIVASHNI NAIR. Published in Times Live

The heavy-handed actions of the “green bombers” – so called by activists because of their green uniforms and aggression – and of unionists, who kicked an activist, were in full view of the world’s media. Continue reading

Mic Check: Protesters take up camp inside COP17 conference centre

by Tim McSorley, Published in The Media Coop

At 15h00 local time in Durban, SA (8am EST), dozens of protesters gathered inside the International Conference Centre where the COP17 negotiations are entering their final hours. Continue reading

Global Justice Ecology Project press conference coverage

COP 17: Global Leaders Powerfully Denounce Green Economy; Expose its impacts on peoples and ecosystems

UN Security Ejects Youth Delegate Dressed as Uncle Sam Clown; Tells Journalists to Delete Photos

President Zuma watches as Supporters Assault Peaceful Demonstrators

Twenty minutes ago and in a meeting designed for engagement between President Zuma and communities & civil society, violence broke out when peaceful civil society demonstrators silently held up signs asking “Zuma to stand with Africa”. Pro-Zuma supporters, many wearing the uniforms of COP17 volunteers then attacked the demonstrators in an act of mob violence. Continue reading

Canadian Youth Ejected from COP17, Turn their Backs on Canadian Government during Opening Speech

Durban, South Africa – Members of the Canadian Youth Delegation were ejected from COP17 today as Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent delivered his opening address at the United Nations climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa. Just as Kent began his speech, six youth stood and turned away from the Minister revealing the message “Turn your back on Canada” prominently displayed on their shirts.  Continue reading


Assembly of the Oppressed, 5th December 2011, Durban, South Africa

Articles pictures and videos from Durban on

As the Assembly of the Oppressed we are gathered here to demand the transformation of the entire neo liberal capitalist system.  The fight against climate change is a fight against neo liberal capitalism, landlessness, dispossession, hunger, poverty and the re-colonization of the territories of the people’s of Africa and the global South. We are here to declare that direct action is the only weapon of the oppressed people of the world to end all forms of oppression in the world. Continue reading