At least 24 climate activists have been put under house arrest by French police, accused of flouting a ban on organising protests during next week’s Paris climate summit, the Guardian has learned.Activist Naomi Klein responds:
One legal adviser to the activists said many officers raided his Paris apartment and occupied three floors and a staircase in his block.
French authorities did not respond to requests for comment but lawyers said that the warrants were issued under state of emergency laws, imposed after the terror attacks that killed 130 people earlier this month.
The author and climate change campaigner, Naomi Klein, accused French authorities of “a gross abuse of power that risks turning the summit into a farce”.Klein is being naive. The summit isn't on the brink of turning into a farce---it was born a farce. Of course these 'summits' are staged photo ops. Why else would you have thousands of people jetting around the world to converge in a spot in which no substantive agreements to reduce greenhouse gases will be achieved?
“Climate summits are not photo opportunities to boost the popularity of politicians,” she told the Guardian.
But the French crack down on protests doesn't seem to be working, and the police resorted to tear gas.
An unauthorised demonstration at Place de la Republique degenerated into violence on Sunday afternoon. Hundreds of riot police sealed off the whole square and the roads around as clashes broke out with protestors.And there are climate change demonstrations and marches today in many cities around the world.
The protestors began by throwing shoes, left at the square to symbolise a demonstration - including a pair from Pope Francis - at police. There were several very large explosions, thought to be fireworks. Police began using tear gas to clear the area that has been a symbolic place of gathering since the Friday 13 November attacks in Paris.