By Amy Goodman for Democracy Now!
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the UN climate summit in Katowice, Poland, on Friday, demanding bolder action from world leaders on climate change. The action was organized by the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice. Demonstrators filled the staircase inside the conference center holding banners reading “Which side are you on?” and “People Not Polluters” and “System change not climate change.” As protesters marched out of UN climate talks, Democracy Now! spoke with Maya Menezes, Canadian climate activist and member of the Canadian Youth Delegation with the climate justice organization The Leap. She is a migrant rights organizer with No One Is Illegal.
AMY GOODMAN: Yes, we are broadcasting from the U.N. climate talks in Katowice, Poland, where hundreds of demonstrators are gathered just beyond our set demanding bolder action from world leaders on climate change, the actions organized by the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice. Protesters have filled the staircase inside the convention center. They’re holding banners saying “Which side are you on?” “People not polluters,” “System change not climate change.” This is Rita Uwaka of Friends of the Earth Nigeria.
RITA UWAKA: We are here to denounce false solutions by big polluters, who are acting as saints at this COP. We are here to promote solutions that are sustainable, that are people-powered. We are here to expose the inequities of corporations at COP, that are causing devastating environmental, social consequences in communities around the world.
In the Niger Delta, where I live and come from, I know that there are a lot of oil pollutions, that is devastating community lives and livelihoods. Water polluted. Our soils are polluted. Our farmlands are polluted. Women are suffering. Communities at the front line have been victimized by these corporations, who have brought human rights abuses, who is causing a lot of scarcity of food in our communities, who is destroying our local food system, destroying our forest and causing a lot of climate change in communities, affecting people and our climate.
We say no. We are here to denounce the activities. We are here to promote solutions that are sustainable. We’re here to kick them out and let the people in.