The Guardian | Protest

Activists protest at ‘sidelining of social justice’ at UN climate talks

Campaigners frustrated at how women and indigenous people have struggled to have voices heard

Youth climate activists have called for a global strike on Friday to protest that human rights and social justice have been sidelined at the UN climate talks in Madrid, where governments look set to wrap up two weeks of negotiations without a breakthrough on the pressing issue of greenhouse gas reduction.

Campaigners have been frustrated not only at the slow progress of the talks but also that groups representing women, indigenous people and poor people have struggled to have their voices heard within the conference halls where the official negotiations are taking place, even while 500,000 people took part in a mass protest in the streets outside last Friday.

For almost three decades, world governments have met every year to forge a global response to the climate emergency. Under the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, every country on earth is treaty-bound to “avoid dangerous climate change”, and find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally in an equitable way. COP stands for conference of the parties under the UNFCCC.

Related: Global heating plus inequality is a recipe for chaos – just look at Chile | Maisa Rojas

Related: COP25 climate summit: what happened during the first week?

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Police and protesters clash as Algeria holds disputed election

Unrest in Algiers and other cities as low turnout expected amid widespread disaffection

Police and demonstrators have clashed in Algeria as polls opened in a tense presidential election.

The Hirak opposition movement, which emerged this year from weekly demonstrations against the former French colony’s political establishment, has said the poll cannot be considered free or fair while the ruling elite, including the military, stay in power and has called for a boycott.

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EU leaders meet to try to agree on carbon neutrality by 2050

Greenpeace activists unfurl climate emergency banner on Brussels venue before event

European leaders meeting at a summit in Brussels will make a new attempt to set the European Union on course for carbon neutrality by 2050, in a test of the bloc’s credibility on the climate emergency.

Hours before EU leaders were due to arrive on Thursday, Greenpeace activists unfurled a banner on the side of the summit venue warning of the climate emergency.

The European Green Deal is the EU’s answer to what the European commission’s new president, Ursula von der Leyen, called the “existential issue” of the climate emergency. Most EU countries have signed up to goal of a climate neutral EU by 2050, a goal demanding dramatic change in energy use, farming, housing, transport, trade and diplomacy.

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'We will not let up': activists protest NYPD subway crackdown

New York City has not backed down from plan to hire 500 officers and increase policing in subways and buses

Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of New York City last month holding signs and crying out chants against a crackdown on fare evasion and excessive policing in the city’s transit system.

The demonstration was the most dramatic escalation of increasing tensions between New Yorkers, the city’s police department and the state-run transportation agency that runs the subways and buses in New York City after a crackdown on fare evasion and increase of police presence in subway stations.

Related: Know your rental rights in the US: four valuable facts to keep handy

marching to show that the disgusting abuses of the nypd and mta will not be tolerated #FTP pic.twitter.com/tIEEMtbMIp

In case you’re wondering how an arrest in NYC goes down. The guy has made absolutely no indication that he would flee or fight and wasn’t trying to hide.

If you can’t see, the reason everyone moved was because all the police had taken out their guns and aimed at him. pic.twitter.com/dAstrtMntz

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Indian police fire teargas at citizenship bill protesters

Paramilitary forces deployed at demonstrations in north-east over bill excluding Muslims

Indian police have fired blanks on protesters as thousands ignored a curfew in the north-east of the country in fresh demonstrations against contentious new citizenship legislation.

Officials said on Thursday about 20 to 30 people have been hurt in the protests in recent days, with vehicles torched and police firing teargas and charging the crowds with heavy wooden sticks.

Related: Indian citizenship law discriminatory to Muslims passed

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Outrage after Colombia riot police force young woman into unmarked car

  • Protester freed after members of public give chase
  • Video of incident adds to criticism of police tactics

Outrage has erupted in Colombia after a young woman participating in anti-government protests was grabbed by riot police in body armour, forced into an unmarked vehicle and driven away.

Video of the incident showed the woman sobbing and screaming “Help! The police have kidnapped me!” through the window of the black Chevrolet sedan as it drove away from the demonstration near the National University in Bogotá on Wednesday night.

Video de cómo policias del Esmad suben a la fuerza a una mujer a un carro particular Chevrolet HCI 264
¿Intento de secuestro?
Compartir al máximo pic.twitter.com/6vYOBlIAQE

Related: Colombia: thousands take to the streets in third national strike in two weeks

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French unions dismiss pension reforms and vow to continue strikes

Unions see proposed measures unveiled on Wednesday as raising standard retirement age

French unions have vowed to continue a nationwide strike which has brought transport to a virtual standstill as they dismissed the prime minister’s proposals on changing the pensions system.

After a week of strikes caused transport chaos and saw hundreds of thousands of demonstrators march on the streets, the prime minister, Edouard Philippe, gave a televised speech outlining the government’s planned pensions overhaul. He vowed that the controversial pension changes would be implemented in phases, “without brutality”, and conceded that changes would not affect workers born before 1975. He called the plan “fair” and said it justified putting a stop to the strikes.

Related: Macron wants not just reform but to change the way France thinks | John Lichfield

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The old made our climate mess. And the young will get us out of it | Rebecca Solnit

If we are to survive, we must follow the demands and examples of the next generation

World leaders are meeting in Spain to decide whether or not to bother with preventing the destruction of the earth, like people in a vehicle speeding toward a cliff deciding whether to brake or swerve or just chat about other things. Powerful senior citizens in the United States – Trump, Giuliani, Biden – are trading playground insults, and the middle-aged people who make a lot of decisions about how to handle this emergency seem incapable of thinking beyond the singularly imagination-killing criterion of short-term profit.

I began writing this column at a Youth v Apocalypse demonstration in San Francisco. The protest, which was led by teens, of course, as well as some of the 20-something members of the Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion, took place in front of Black Rock, the world’s largest investor in fossil fuels. There was a little cluster of mothers at the demonstration too, with babies and toddlers whose life expectancy, barring catastrophes, extends into the 22nd century. It was a Fridays for Future demonstration taking place all over the world, with half a million mostly young people in Madrid.

We must expand our imaginations so can experience real climate victory. That means making radical changes

Rebecca Solnit is a Guardian US columnist

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The decade that was … Inside the 13 December edition of the Guardian Weekly

As the 2010s draw to a close, Gary Younge reflects on 10 years of protest that have largely failed to deliver anticipated change. Subscribe here.

This week, as the Guardian Weekly was being delivered to readers, Britons voted in the first UK election to take place in December since 1910. At the time of writing the result is (perhaps blissfully) unknown, but we will be back next week with in-depth analysis of Thursday evening’s outcome. In the meantime, our news, politics, comment and data teams will cover every moment of the vote in depth. Catch every minute here.

Our cover this week is Gary Younge’s essay on the end of a decade which started with the Arab spring and Occupy movements and ended up – via Ferguson, #MeToo and Greece – on the streets of Hong Kong, Santiago, La Paz, Beirut and Shiraz. It was the decade of protest, Younge writes – and a guttural reaction to the financial crash and years of political and social oppression. In some cases, the results were striking victories, but in too many the return blows of the establishment paused revolution in its tracks. Will the school climate strikers and Extinction Rebellion be able to break through the status quo in the 2020s?

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Janet Barker on being manhandled by Mark Field: ‘He might become a better person’

When the Greenpeace activist was grabbed by the neck by the then Tory MP, she refused to make an official complaint. She reflects on her decision and the aftermath

When the Conservative MP Mark Field leapt from his chair, pushed a female Greenpeace protester against a pillar, gripped the back of her neck and then manhandled her out of a Mansion House banquet in June, he probably did not anticipate the headlines.

Janet Barker, the climate emergency activist, was not alone in being stunned at his hot-headed actions. When TV footage emerged capturing Field’s ferocious look as he propelled Barker roughly towards the exit, it unleashed a formidable backlash.

WATCH: Conservative MP Mark Field shoves a protestor against a pillar then grabs her by her neck and shoves her out of the Mansion House dinner after climate change protestors interrupted the banquet. pic.twitter.com/DFwZYxROfF

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Extinction Rebellion stages air pollution protests in London and Manchester

Demonstrators target key roads to demand government action to tackle deadly issue

Climate change activists wearing gas masks have blocked a central London road to demand the next government tackles “deadly levels of air pollution” in the capital.

Six Extinction Rebellion protesters dressed in hi-vis suits glued their hands to yellow breeze blocks in the middle of Cranbourn Street, outside Leicester Square tube station.

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Australia needs to challenge authority if we’re going to confront water, fire and climate crises | Jason Wilson

Governments increasingly make laws to curtail rights of protest, assembly, property and privacy and we need to suspect and resist that

Any shame white Australians might have felt about the country’s origins as a penal colony has long since disappeared.

For many decades those with convict ancestors have tended to proudly claim them. By the time of my primary education in the 1980s, the crimes of those transported tended to be minimised by teachers. Almost all, the comforting story ran, had stolen loaves of bread.

Related: Every day is Survival Day in the colony of Australia | Scott Trindall

Related: Australia's anti-encryption laws being used to bypass journalist protections, expert says

Related: Oxford Dictionaries declares 'climate emergency' the word of 2019

Jason Wilson is a Guardian Australia columnist

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The UN conference move shows global heating plus inequality is a recipe for chaos | Maisa Rojas

The protests that forced COP25 to switch from Chile to Madrid had the climate crisis at their core
Maisa Rojas is scientific coordinator for the COP25 climate conference

It’s a grey winter day as I walk through the UN climate conference (known as COP25) in Madrid. The pavilions and rooms all have the names of cities, regions and rivers in Chile. They’re especially familiar to me: as well as being scientific coordinator for COP25, I’m director of Chile’s Centre for Climate and Resilience Research. It’s all a stark reminder that we should be in Santiago.

But on 18 October 2019, the president of Chile declared a state of emergency and instituted a curfew to quell three days of public unrest that started because of an increase in metro fares. The outbreak of anger was summed up by the message, “This is not about 30 pesos, it is about 30 years”, referring to discontent lasting three decades, which appeared on walls across the city and on social media. The protests ultimately led to COP25’s move to Madrid.

The good news is that addressing social issues alongside the climate crisis can generate powerful, long-lasting solutions

Related: Neighbours meet to plot path out of Chile crisis amid exasperation at elite

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Hong Kong: mammoth rally marks six months of pro-democracy protests

Sea of protesters pour on to streets calling for elections and inquiry into police tactics

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have once again poured on to the streets of Hong Kong, their chants echoing off high-rise buildings, in a mass show of support for a protest movement that shows no signs of flagging as it enters a seventh month.

Chanting “Fight for freedom” and “Stand with Hong Kong”, a sea of protesters formed a mile-long human snake winding for blocks on Hong Kong Island, from the Causeway Bay shopping district to the Central business zone.

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No trains and no compromise as France faces a winter of discontent

With hardline unions threatening indefinite strikes over pension reforms, there is apprehension at the political perils facing Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron will seek to placate angry strikers this week while honouring his election pledge to shake up France’s pension system in a delicate balancing act that will define his political future.

Ministers are looking at possible concessions that could defuse the strikes and protests that have paralysed the country since last week.

Related: Macron wants not just reform but to change the way France thinks

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Defiant protesters back in Baghdad square within an hour of slaughter

Demonstrators grow ever more determined to force real political change in Iraq despite a bloody crackdown which left over 20 dead

The gunshots emptied protesters from Baghdad’s Khilani square in minutes, but as nearby streets filled with the crush of people running for their lives, two men stayed on, waving a vast Shia banner in defiance of the bloodshed around them.

The pair must have known they were in the gunmen’s crosshairs, and soon one of them crumpled, hit by a bullet. But their determination to continue was a powerful message to authorities and militias trying to crush Iraq’s popular uprising by force.

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Over a dozen killed in Baghdad when gunmen open fire on protesters

Attack follows mass stabbings in Tahrir Square, a focus of the anti-government movement

At least 14 people were killed and more than 40 others wounded when gunmen in cars opened fire on a protest camp in Baghdad, sending people running for cover in nearby mosques. Three of the victims were police officers.

The attacks on Friday came a day after a string of suspicious stabbing incidents left at least 13 wounded in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, the centre of Iraq’s leaderless protest movement.

Related: ‘It’s personal here': southern Iraq ablaze as protests rage

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'A rapist in your path': Chilean protest song becomes feminist anthem – video

A Chilean protest song about rape culture and victim shaming has become an anthem for feminists around the world.

Un Violador en Tu Camino (A Rapist in Your Path) was first performed in late November as Chile’s nationwide uprising against social inequality entered its second month.

Here's a look at how the song, and its accompanying dance moves, have spread across Latin America and the world.

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Greta Thunberg says school strikes have achieved nothing

Activist says 4% greenhouse gas emissions rise since 2015 shows action is insufficient

The global wave of school strikes for the climate over the past year has “achieved nothing” because greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise, Greta Thunberg has told activists at UN climate talks in Madrid.

Thousands of young people were expected to gather at the UN climate conference and in the streets of the Spanish capital on Friday to protest against the lack of progress in tackling the climate emergency, as officials from more than 190 countries wrangled over the niceties of wording in documents related to the Paris accord.

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At least 7,000 people reportedly arrested in Iran protests, says UN

Human rights office suggests 208 people killed during unrest that broke out last month

The United Nations has said that at least 7,000 people have reportedly been arrested in Iran since mass demonstrations erupted last month, and called for the immediate release of those arbitrarily detained.

In a statement, the UN human rights office also said it had obtained “verified video footage” showing security forces firing on protesters, apparently with intent to kill.

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