COP-17 Preliminary Actions

2 December 2011 ---Tomorrow is the big march, so today there were several actions to build the momentum for it. Here is the traffic island that where protests are officiall allowed, called the Speaker's Corner (left below). First there was a Press Conference with representatives of three Small Island Developing States. The Embassador from Sechelles was the first speaker. There was a good crowd already, but before she finished the Rural Women arrived in a large, noisy group. They were prevailed upon to be quiet and let the Small Island Developing States finished their Press Conference. Then they called up the Rural Women to speak, but they were more comfortable singing --- those beautiful African harmonies! I took movies, so I'll try to get them up on YouTube. Before they finished, another group came marching along the street, escorted by police, also making lots of noise. I learned later that they were escorted by police because they had tried an action on the street somewhere else. That small traffic island was full of people!

Speaker's CornerSechellesRural Women

Rural WomenRural WomenRobin Hood Tax

Then there was a youth action inside the COP-17 (last photo above) the first I have seen this year. They were supporting the Financial Transaction Tax, which is called the "Robin Hood Tax" to support the Green Climate Fund. They had everyone shoot the target to "Fill the Fund." It was all very uplifting for me.

But then I went to the briefing by the U.S. Head Negotiator, Jonathan Pershing. He was very slick, almost manic. He has it all worked out in his head how the U.S. can make a positive contribution despite the restrictions placed on the team due to the political realities. I came out of there depressed because it all seems so impossible, so unfair. Tomorrow is the big march through the streets of Durban.



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