Monday, 14 December 2009


The climate change conference is not in session today. In any case it’s the day when I have to head for home, regretting not being able to follow the negotiations through to their conclusion but not sorry at avoiding the frustrations of all those second-week closed doors.

I managed to meet up with the Liverpool and Manchester students in the Oxfam contingent of Saturday’s protest march. I missed the start, and didn’t know the route, but it was easy enough to track it, catch up and overtake by keeping an eye on the helicopters hovering in the sky. Marches march slowly. The newspapers report various arrests being made but the vast majority of demonstrators passed me twice as I searched for ‘my’ contingent and I saw no trouble as all.

The students had all succeeded in hitchhiking their way to Copenhagen in 3 days, even though only one, Nicola, was wearing a polar bear suit (I for one would certainly stop if a polar bear held out its thumb). Some wondered if the effort had been worth it and asked me, ”do demonstrations like this make a difference?” “Without doubt,” was my response. “The march generates media coverage, and that raises the profile of the issue and increases political pressure on decision-makers. We all want to do more but by being here you show how much this matters to you. What more can be asked?”

No comments: