Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Reclaim Power March

The Reclaim Power March gathers at 8am on Wednesday. Bag pipes, drums, and a light snow set the mood. The purpose of the march is to create a people's forum in or near the Bella Center. This is a protest about the lack of inclusion in the climate negotiations.

The march begins. Protestors link arms in an attempt to keep police out. The march, however, is filled with undercover officers. At one point the linked arms are broken and two undercover police officers grab a protestor. They pick him up, run out of the march, and throw him into the back of a police van. The van drives away. This happens in less then 30 seconds.

When the march reaches the gates of the Bella Center the energy of the protestors rises. Police put on their helmets. A protestor jumps onto a police van, is followed by an officer, and is beaten until he falls from the vehicle. Police begin using force to keep the protestors back from the gates, at one point spraying activists indiscriminately with pepper spray.

Among those present at the march are delegates, NGOs, indigenous groups, and journalists. Head of the International Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, makes an appearance as the police are forcefully keeping protestors away from the Bella Center gates.

Police begin breaking the chains of protestors and arrest those that are vocal or resist.

Some people attempt to escape the police by fleeing through a nearby field, crossing a bridge over a small stream built hastily by nervous activists.

Many activists, stuck behind police lines, sit and meditate.
The protest ends and 250 people are detained.


  1. :) i definitely didn't see any photos of police beatings in the NY times. haha great matty!

  2. also, that cop has a copious amount of of what I am assuming is pepper spray. it's like he is saying, "you know, got my 12 rack of pepper spray." This is probably the last time they hold a conference like this in a hippie place like that...