Demonstrators at UN Climate Summit Face Riot Police and Intimidation

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, We’re broadcasting from the UN climate summit in Katowice, Poland. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Thousands of climate activists marched here in Katowice, Poland, on Saturday, calling for world leaders to do more to keep rising greenhouse gas emissions in check. It was the only permitted protest during the 2-week UN climate talks. Earlier this year, Poland’s right-wing government banned all spontaneous protests and gatherings within the city. The police have also been given the authority to carry out widespread surveillance during the summit. In addition, Polish authorities blocked some climate activists from entering the country. The Climate Action Network reports at least 12 members of civil society were denied entry into Poland.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, on Saturday, Democracy Now! was out in the streets of Katowice.

PROTESTERS: Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!

KEVIN BUCKLAND: Hi. My name’s Kevin. I’m part of the Gastivists Collective. So, we’re here on the street, and we are surrounded by robocops, which is ridiculous. This is a completely peaceful protest, beautiful energy from people all around the world. But it is showing the relationship between state power in protecting the interests of the fossil fuel companies. And Europe imports about half of the world’s gas and produces almost none of it. So Europe has a hugely important role to play here. And using hundreds of billions of euros of public money to build a new generation of fossil fuel infrastructure, fossil gas infrastructure, is the wrong direction, when all that money could be spent on renewables.

If, while we’re resisting just coal and oil, they build the next generation of fossil fuel infrastructure, fossil gas infrastructure, we’re going to have to fight that one next. So we say, “Look, if the industry is selling gas as a bridge fuel, let’s take out the bridge. Let’s stop fossil fuel industry right here. And let’s…

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