From The Guardian

Armenia votes to curb presidential powers in disputed referendum

The Guardian | Protest -

Result of controversial poll denounced by opposition groups who say real aim is to keep current leader in power beyond term limits

Armenians have voted to curb presidential powers in a disputed referendum, sparking protests from the opposition which says the reforms are aimed at keeping the ruling elite in power.

The reforms will make the president a ceremonial figure, elected by parliament for a term of seven years instead of the current five.

Related: No, thanks. Armenia's opposition rallies against referendum

I've been an observer in 4, now 5, Armenian elections. This was by far the most violent, dangerous and fraudulent I've witnessed. #ArmRef15

A good number of precincts reported 0 'no' votes. 0. One doesn't know whether to laugh or cry #ArmRef15

What happened today is state treason

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Michel Faber sends David Cameron latest novel in protest over Syria

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In an ‘impotent satirical gesture’, the novelist has sent The Book of Strange New Things to the PM, saying: ‘If you drop it from a plane, it might hit a Syrian’

In what he describes as “a gesture of exasperation and rage” following the government’s decision to take military action in Syria, the novelist Michel Faber has sent a copy of his novel The Book of Strange New Things to David Cameron.

Related: The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber review – astonishing and deeply affecting

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Naomi Klein criticises protest restrictions at Paris climate talks

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Activist says authorities have ‘handed a megaphone to the corporations and taken the megaphone away from the social movements’

French authorities are enforcing “unprecedented restrictions on civil society” at the UN climate change talks in Paris, the author and activist Naomi Klein has said.

Klein said the ongoing talks were a victim of austerity as the French government had failed to provide adequate state funding, leading to heavy sponsorship by corporations. Meanwhile authorities have imposed a ban on mass protests around COP21, as the conference is known, in the wake of last month’s terror attacks in Paris.

Related: Paris climate change talks yield first draft amid air of optimism

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No, thanks. Armenia's opposition rallies against referendum

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Critics say proposed changes to constitution are intended to extend the term of the president. Global Voices reports

Armenians will go to the polls on Sunday to vote on whether their country should be a presidential or a parliamentary republic, a move critics see as an attempt to extend the president’s power.

If the government’s proposal is accepted, the role of the president would be downgraded to a figurehead position elected by parliament every seven years.

Related: Three weddings and a fuel subsidy as Armenia's electricity protests spread

Related: Armenia's #ElectricYerevan protests – in pictures

https://t.co/BwX1cQdzBG Հանգուցյալի վերջին ցանկությունը սրբություն է pic.twitter.com/ePnyhidwDY

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Massive Attack founder premiers dark film on fossil fuel lobbying at Paris climate talks

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Satire by the hip hop band’s 3D, aka Robert Del Naja, exposes how corporations influence state leaders to keep the world addicted to fossil fuels

A short film by a member of trip hop group Massive Attack about the influence of fossil fuel corporations on climate change negotiations will premiere on Friday in Paris where crucial UN talks are continuing.

The dark satire features an original score by 3D – also known as Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja – and Mercury prize winners Young Fathers . It stars Fiona O’Shaughnessy , the lead in TV thriller Utopia and Natasha O’Keeffe from the BBC’s Peaky Blinders and Sherlock as an executive from oil giant ExxonMobil.

Related: Everything you need to know about the Paris climate summit and UN talks

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The quiet opponents: 'I didn't protest but I'm against airstrikes on Syria'

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Thousands of people protested against UK airstrikes in Syria, but many more who hold the same view didn’t, and won’t. Here are some reasons why

Measuring public sentiment against airstrikes on Syria by counting how many people turn up to protest would be foolish. Of the thousands who took to the streets across the UK to oppose the airstrikes, there were thousands more who could not or did not want to attend.

A YouGov poll published on Wednesday showed declining public confidence in the case for airstrikes. Last week, 59% of Britons backed the action but now the figure has declined to 48% – this is 5 million voters. And those who voted Labour in the last general election have switched from backing military action by 52% to 26% a week ago, to opposing it by 42% to 35%.

Simon, 35, Hatfield, Hertfordshire: Protests make no difference. Debates make no difference. Expert opinion and select committees make no difference. All of the participants have made up their minds, probably long ago. I don’t know whether that’s because they’re influenced by factors we aren’t told much about – arms deals being the obvious one – or something less sinister. But does anyone expect the debate in parliament to change anyone’s minds? The last time there was a mass anti-war protest, it only resulted in a massive crackdown on protests.

Without other forms of intervention, it’s a vanity action, which we all know will make little positive difference to the political or social situation on the ground and is likely to entrench us in another impossible situation that becomes our fault, as well as probably making the UK less safe.

Dawny, 72, London: There must be more effective ways of protesting. I marched in London in support of the miners in the 1980s and I experienced the mockery of onlookers. And they were right to mock. Standing in the rain on a cold winter day waving a placard will do little except amuse those secure in a warm office observing the antics of the plebs.

Who, exactly, are the forces going to bomb? The extremists are likely to be indistinguishable from the innocent. Or are they considered acceptable collateral damage? I am against the proposed bombing campaign in Syria. There is little evidence that such action would reduce the chance of further attacks similar to that seen in Paris.

Darren, 35, London: I don’t doubt there is a huge number who feel passionately against these airstrikes, but also feel that protest is a pointless activity. Recent anti-war protest in this country has been ignored by Labour and Conservative governments alike.

We find ourselves in a cycle of government-sanctioned violence against organised terrorism. Strikes will mean this cycle continues, increasing anti-west sentiment and sowing hatred that will last for generations. As worrying to me is disenfranchisement regarding our reaction to the perceived threat of Isis – after Iraq and Afghanistan I hope that public weariness of ineffectual military action will influence a move against conflict.

Mysia, 39, Witney, Oxfordshire: I am a single, working mother of a child with special needs. I have used up all my annual leave days from work, and it’s nearly Christmas. I simply can’t drop everything to go and protest – this isn’t just the protests over the airstrikes, but also over all the other rubbish that this government is doing.

I am against airstrikes and I don’t see how they will achieve anything without ground support. And there are bound to be innocent civilian casualties.

Nicola, 27, London: I don’t feel that my presence will have any impact, and I also fear that protests tend to end up aggressive or violent, which I don’t want to be associated with. There should be a better way for me to share my views than standing outside for a bit with a placard.

I don’t believe that attacking a country is the correct solution to deal with Isis. I think bombing has the potential to push vulnerable people towards Isis or to extremism. These are people who are living in fear, in a war zone, fearing for their lives and their families’ lives. People who don’t want to live like this – virtually everyone – will want to flee. We will reject them, and they will have nowhere to turn to.

Richenda, 29, Cambridgeshire: I am more cautious about protesting these days because police brutality has gotten out of hand. I do what I can online instead. I also don’t have time as I’m juggling three jobs and full-time study.

I’ve only been on anti-austerity and funding cuts demonstrations, and counter marches against the BNP. They are usually friendly and fun. The only negative experience is being scared of the police suddenly doing something like charging at trapped protesters on horseback. Also, the frustration of having a completely peaceful event and then going home to find that the media have under-reported the number of people present and have found some isolated skirmish somewhere and used that to represent the full demonstration.

Jess, 17, Manchester: I am strongly against airstrikes because I believe that they will not weaken Isis but only make the civil war in Syria more complicated and possibly worse. And this could easily backfire for Europe.

I’ve not attended a protest because I am currently in my second year of A-levels and have a large amount of coursework to complete. My parents took me to my first protest – against the Iraq war – when I was five. I don’t really remember much apart from all my friends and their parents were also there.

Harvey, 17, Norwich: I had to make a choice between going on the climate change march on Sunday or the anti-war march on Saturday. I had other things to do on that weekend so I just attended the climate march. After all, climate change is life or death for the entire human race: billions of potential causalities as opposed to millions.

I am firmly against UK airstrikes in Syria. Bombing will not defeat Isis, it will strengthen it if anything. People will not forget which country killed their friends and family who were essentially collateral damage, and will be extremely easy to radicalise. Furthermore, what war against a guerrilla force has been won by bombing? None. America is already conducting more bombing runs then it needs to. Why send British pilots to their potential deaths, which only makes Britain a target and helps Isis?

Jeanne, 82, London: I’ve attended protests against the wars in Iraq, Korea and Vietnam. They were all good, well organised rallies with like-minded people joining from all over the country. I enjoyed the cameraderie and the speeches.

I do not think airstrikes will make us or any other western nation safer from attack on home soil. It is likely to alienate even more young Muslims and increase such attacks. More effort must be put into surveillance and into the Vienna talks.

Jon, 62, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk: My breathing isn’t up to protesting. But I am against the airstrikes. More noncombatants will die, more will become refugees. Syrian skies are too crowded for more planes.

Al-Monitor reports that the senior military leadership of Isis has already moved from Syria to Libya. Would it not make more sense to attack military targets in Libya before Isis gets too organised? Time to get a step ahead of the enemy.

Louis, 45, London: I am suffering from a condition making my mobility very limited and painful. During the first Gulf war, one of the protests I attended got violent when the police blocked our path. Since then I protested against practically all military interventions up to 2009.

Apart from the huge number of civilian casualties and destruction of infrastructure, whilst some terrorists may die, the potential recruits will increase, making the world more unstable and dangerous. Bombing by the west is a major reason why Isis exists; more bombing will make it worse.

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Paris climate summit: hackers leak login details of more than 1,000 officials

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Private data including emails, usernames and phone numbers of 1,415 delegates posted online by Anonymous in protest against arrests of activists

Hackers have leaked the private log-in details of nearly 1,415 officials at the UN climate talks in Paris in an apparent act of protest against arrests of activists in the city.

Anonymous, the hacktivist movement, hacked the website of the summit organisers, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and posted names, phone numbers, usernames, email addresses, and secret questions and answers onto an anonymous publishing site.

Related: From Isis to Atlantic Records: five targets of Anonymous's cyberwarfare

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'Die-in' at Parliament Square protest against Syria airstrikes – video

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As thousands of people gather in Parliament Square to call on MPs to oppose extending airstrikes against Isis into Syria, some anti-war protesters deliver a symbolic message by lying down to “die”. From an initial trickle earlier in the day, the protest grew into thousands of people over the evening

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Syria airstrikes: anti-war protesters stage ‘die-in’ outside parliament

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Thousands of people gather in Parliament Square to call on MPs to oppose extending airstrikes against Isis into Syria

Illuminated under the glare of Westminster’s Christmas tree and the lights of dozens of cameras, anti-war protesters delivered a symbolic message to MPs debating airstrikes on Syria by lying down to “die” in Parliament Square.

From an initial trickle earlier in the day, the protest grew into thousands of people over the evening and, although nothing in comparison to the 2003 Iraq war protests, was at least comparable to previous gatherings against interventions in Libya and Iraq.

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Anti-war protesters urge MPs to vote against Syria airstrikes – video

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Anti-war protesters are present outside parliament while MPs debate whether the UK should join airstrikes against Isis in Syria. Belinda from Brighton says she is protesting because “no one should be voting” until more facts about the situation are known, while Jill from Surrey says the justification for airstrikes is reminiscent of citing WMDs as a reason to go to war in Iraq

Photograph: Amer Ghazzal/REX

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Are you against UK airstrikes on Syria but not protesting? Tell us why

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Thousands of people have attended protests against UK air strikes in Syria. Do you share their views but not protest? Tell us why

Thousands of people have taken to the streets across the UK, to protest against the government’s plans to bomb Islamic State targets in Syria. But is this the extent of anti-airstrike sentiment? How many more people hold a similar position but don’t attend protest? Tell us if you’re against airstrikes but haven’t attended a protest.

Protests outside Downing Street and across the UK on Saturday, and in Parliament Square on Tuesday, were both organised by the Stop the War Coalition who have been campaigning against what it calls ‘unjust wars’ since 2001.

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Woman fined €1,000 for refusing to be fingerprinted at Paris climate rally

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Lawyer for 25-year-old says legal proceedings ‘verged on the ridiculous’ after two people appear in court following clashes with police at climate protest

A court in Paris has fined a woman €1,000 ($1,060) for refusing to have her fingerprints taken at a rally where clashes erupted between protesters and security forces ahead of a UN climate summit.

The lawyer for the 25-year-old woman said legal proceedings against her “verged on the ridiculous”, pointing out that out of the hundreds arrested at the demonstration only two people had appeared before the court.

Related: Peaceful Paris climate gathering descends into clashes with police

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Paris climate summit: Survey reveals 'greenwash' of corporate sponsors

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COP21 advertisers criticised for lack of transparency, monitoring and emissions reduction as series of spoof adverts appear across Paris

A survey of 10 sponsors of the Paris climate summit has found that most do not publish data on their CO2 emissions, half don’t track their lifetime carbon footprint, and only one is reducing its emissions in line with the EU’s targets.

Full details of the summit’s sponsorship deals will not be made public until after its close, although campaigners say that the €16.9m raised so far represents barely 10% of overall costs, and half of what was expected.

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World's first computer-generated musical to debut in London

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Beyond the Fence, the story of a family at Greenham Common, will incorporate machine-generated plot and music

They have become brilliant at chess, had music performed by one of the world’s leading orchestras and seen their art enter major collections. But could a computer also generate a hit West End musical?

The answer may be provided next year with the announcement of the world’s first computer musical, getting a run at the Arts Theatre accompanied by a TV series on Sky Arts.

Related: From online dating to driverless cars, machine learning is everywhere

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Climate activists stage tattoo protest against BP at Tate Britain – video

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Liberate Tate are the artists’ collective who for five years have campaigned against BP’s sponsorship of the Tate. In this performance at Tate Britain in London, held two days before the opening of the Paris summit on climate change, 35 protesters take part in a project called Birthmark. Protestors tattoo each other with a number that represents the parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the year of each person’s birth

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Climate change march: your photos from across Australia and New Zealand

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Guardian readers were among hundreds of thousands of people rallying against climate change in Australia and New Zealand over the weekend as part of a global campaign. They share their experiences of the marches

Guardian readers were among hundreds of thousands of people marching against climate change in Australia and New Zealand over the weekend as part of a global campaign to move away from the use of fossil fuels.

Protests were held in Melbourne on Friday, and in Darwin, Brisbane and across New Zealand on Saturday, followed by Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Hobart and Perth.

Related: Climate change protests across Australia – tens of thousands march

On Friday, November 27, 2015, Australia's biggest ever climate action rally took place with 60,000 people taking to the street demanding urgent, serious action on climate change at the Paris Summit.

All ages and types of people came together in a peaceful, fun, creative protest demanding their voices be heard, though much of mainstream Australian media ignored or underplayed the event.

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28 November 2015, 12:17

Sign at Melbourne climate rally.

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29 November 2015, 0:11

Pacific islands at risk of rising sea levels.

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29 November 2015, 0:03

On Nov 27th, the first of the #Peoplesclimate marches organised around the planet this weekend happened in Melbourne where 60,000 people gathered to speak with their feet demanding serious action on climate change in Paris next week.

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28 November 2015, 12:00

Related: Victorians take to the streets to demand urgent action on climate change

On the evening of Saturday 28 November, over 500 people marched in sweltering heat and humidity across Darwin's upmarket Waterfront to call for an immediate shift away from fossil fuels toward a 100% renewable energy future. The Northern Territory currently has no Renewable Energy Target in place and no plans to cut climate pollution or adapt to climate change, despite being a hotspot for solar energy. The Territory is currently experiencing a 7.1mm sea level rise each year, causing rapidly increasing saltwater intrusion of freshwater wetlands, flooding and coastal erosion without efforts to reverse climate change.

Photo: Lisa McTiernan Photographer

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30 November 2015, 1:28

It was hot and humid, but that didn't stop the march of 5000 people from around Brisbane, lead by communities of Pacific Islander nations to show our demand for climate action and climate justice.

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29 November 2015, 0:22

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29 November 2015, 12:55

'2C is too warm' - Pacific Islanders and nations immediately affected by climate change lead the parade down Macquarie St Sydney

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29 November 2015, 18:37

Pacific island nations came out in force at the Sydney Climate Change March. Many are living with the effects of climate change with some smaller islands like Tuvalu and Kiribati threatened by rising sea levels and storm surges

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30 November 2015, 7:44

One part of a coral reef marching in the Sydney Climate March

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30 November 2015, 0:03

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29 November 2015, 16:54

After sharing their concerns with the Lord Mayor, Councillors and local Parliamentarians, the crowd of 300 Wollongong residents marched up the main street of Wollongong right up to the station to catch a specially scheduled Sustainable Train to join the massive Sydney People’s Climate March.

The chant that developed along the way was “NO MORE FOSSIL FUELS, BRING ON RENEW-ABLES"

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29 November 2015, 12:03

Students from Presbyterian Ladies College with the banner they'll use to lead the youth contingent at the Perth march later today.

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29 November 2015, 14:11

4000 people rally to hear a farmer, firefighter, faith leader, wildlife crusader and Tasmanian Aboriginal speaker, all calling for climate action.

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29 November 2015, 18:15

4000 people rally to hear a farmer, firefighter, faith leader and Tasmanian Aboriginal speaker, all calling for climate action

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29 November 2015, 17:37

Catholic protesters in front of the New Zealand parliament (the beehive), with words from Pope Francis: "hear the cry of the earth, and the cry of the poor"

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28 November 2015, 20:42

More than 7000 people protest in Wellington in advance of Cop21.

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28 November 2015, 20:48

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29 November 2015, 3:16

One of several well crafted symbols on the march, which heard from the city's mayor, Chair of Regional Council and Green MP, Denise Roche.

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29 November 2015, 16:23

Thousands of people from around New Zealand joined the climate march on Saturday - in Auckland, we hit 15,000 people. There were unionists, faith leaders, health professionals, students, NGOs, and of course, the Green Party

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28 November 2015, 12:55

The media are saying about 2,000 people attended but we believe there were far more than that. Great energy and diversity. Past time that governments listen to their citizens on this vital issue.

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28 November 2015, 16:36

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28 November 2015, 12:36

300 or so Golden Bay citizens marched up ( and then back down) our small main street to voice our concern about Climate Change ...to a Govt that so far isn't taking much notice

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29 November 2015, 18:06

In the tiny Northland town of Rawene, 65+ marched to demand action on Climate Change. Failure will result in coastal towns around the world being swallowed by the sea within the next 85 years.

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29 November 2015, 6:26

Kaitiakitanga haka being performed at the Whanganui People's Climate Change March in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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28 November 2015, 13:21

Related: Protesters gather around the world for a strong climate change deal

Young and not so young together to support the climate

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29 November 2015, 17:30

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Climate change protest: 40,000 take to the streets in Sydney – video

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Ahead of the COP21 climate conference in Paris, an estimated 40,000 festive protesters marched in Sydney on Sunday calling on Australia to play a lead role in brokering binding carbon emissions targets for the world to keep global temperature rise below 2C. The marchers, who ranged in age from the very young to the elderly, were among more than 600,000 people who took to the streets in 175 countries around the world to call for a strong deal in Paris

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Climate protesters clash with police as activists defy Paris ban – video

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Hundreds of protesters demonstrate near the Place de la Republique in Paris on Sunday despite a ban imposed by the French authorities. Activists clash with riot police who use teargas to try and disperse the crowds. The march, planned for Sunday to coincide with the global climate change talks in the city on Monday, had been cancelled for security reasons in the wake of recent terror attacks in the French capital

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Peaceful Paris climate gathering descends into clashes with police

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Anti-capitalists take over climate protest to rail against ban on marches imposed after terror attacks on city

A day of celebration and hope in Paris disintegrated into rioting and clashes with police on Sunday, after anti-capitalists and anarchists hijacked a peaceful event organised by climate activists earlier in the day.

About 200 protesters, some wearing masks, fought with police on a street leading to la place de la République, which has become a gathering place for Parisians since the terror attacks on 13 November that killed 130 people. Witnesses said floral and other tributes were trampled in the melee.

Related: Global climate march 2015: Paris police use tear gas during clashes – live

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