Cancún, Mexico, December 7, 2010 – “Thousand Cancúns” action comes to the UN Climate Conference. A press conference hosted by Global Justice Ecology Project and organized by La Via Campesina, Indigenous Environmental Network and Friends of the Earth turned into a spontaneous action as speakers expressed anger over the direction of the climate talks in Cancún. Following the press conference, activists from Youth 4 Climate Justice led the protest out of the climate talks.
The press conference began with Moderator Anne Petermann, of Global Justice Ecology Project evoking the name of Lee Kyung Hae, the South Korean farmer who committed suicide atop the barricades during protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Cancún in 2003. She pointed out that it is now climate change that is killing farmers and other marginalized peoples, and that the UN Climate Conference has degenerated into the World Carbon Trade Organization.
Speakers at the press conference included Delegates from the Paraguayan and Nicaraguan delegations, as well as Tom Goldtooth, of Indigenous Environmental Network, Mary Rose Taruc of the the Asian Pacific Environmental Network and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Kari Fulton of Youth 4 Climate Justice, Josie Riffaud of La Via Campesina, Luis Enrique of the MST of Brazil, and Ricardo Navarro of Friends of the Earth International.
Following the press conference, activists from Youth for Climate Justice and the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance led a protest out of the press conference and onto the front stairs, where Bolivian Ambassador Pablo Salon spoke to the crowd and the media frenzy. The youth activists went on to loudly denounce the inaccessibility and unjust nature of the talks and express outrage over having been repeatedly denied permission to hold a youth delegation protest on the UN grounds. As the youth marched away, they were accosted by UN security, stripped of their badges, put onto buses and evicted from the climate conference.
Simultaneous to this action, La Via Campesina and the Mexican Space – Climate Dialogue were holding two mass marches, one on the highway leading to the Moon Palace–where the climate conference is taking place, the other one in the City Center.