Thousands March Around the Globe for Climate Action – 200 Arrested in France
The Global Climate March this year has resulted in hundreds of thousands activists marching in over 2000 events around the world, but a protest in Paris was disrupted by clashes between the protesters and riot police Sunday.
Demonstrators gathered in the Place de la Republique and police fired tear gas at the group. The small group was apparently protesting against France’s state of emergency, as an order banning public gatherings was implemented following the November 13 attacks in the city. Some participants of the group were masked.
24 activists were placed under house arrest by French police in accordance with the state of emergency laws passed following the recent terrorist attacks. Prolific climate activist and author Naomi Klein told the Guardian the arrests and the state of emergency laws are “a gross abuse of power”.
Protesters reportedly threw objects toward the police despite the peaceful human chain of several thousand that formed nearby demanding action on climate change. Those protesting the state of emergency have been disavowed by the climate action group.
About 200 people were detained once the protest turned violent, according to the Paris police chief.
At an EU-Turkey summit in Brussels, President Francois Hollande said the violent confrontations had “nothing to do with defenders of the environment”. Hollande said he found it “regrettable” and “scandalous” that the clashes happened where flowers and candles have been left in memory of those killed in the November 13 attacks.
Manuel Valls, the French prime minister also commented on the violent protesters in a tweet saying “the violence against the security forces of the republic is disgraceful.”
Early estimates declare the global climate marches to be the largest yet as organizers have announced participation by more than 600,000 people. An estimated 50,000 people participated in a march in central London, and if organizers are correct in their estimates at least 45,000 marched in Sydney, making it the biggest march of the kind in Sydney to date.
Demonstrations are also being held in Madrid, Berlin and New York, along with other cities worldwide.