December 15, 2009

First day of NGO restrictions

The secretariat has cut down on NGO badges today. Queue's outside are apparently over five hours long, and if you still haven't been accredited the message is pretty clear - don't bother.

Is it undemocratic? Climate Justice Action is organising a walk out on Wednesday and the major NGO's (Friends of the Earth etc) are sending round a petition. Temper's are running pretty short at the moment, especially since some delegations are reporting that badges were misallocated and handed out to the wrong people, leaving entire groups without any delegates inside the Bella Centre.

One of the most positive aspects of last week's talks, was the vibrancy of the actions and delegates. Today its all suits and and the main hall is comparatively quite (although it seems just as full).

Getting back to the question, it certainly seems like there has been a clampdown. Unauthorised actions, like ours, really annoyed the secretariat. The youth's presence, as Dr Pachari, Kumi Naidoo, PM Odinga, and Desmond Tutu have repeatedly stated was one of the only positive points in a week filled with disappointment. The youth basically remind everyone why they are here and why it is so important, and without them I worry we won't get nearly an ambitious enough deal as we might have.

I should add that things were getting incredibly packed. I have no idea how you would have gotten Obama from one room to another! But the way it has been done is pretty pathetic, and in a conference that is arguably the most important in history its depressing that the people most affected by will not to be present.



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