Paris climate activists plan human chain on global day of action – Reuters


* Activists plan “human chain” along route of banned march

* Sunday set to be among biggest days of climate protests

* World leaders meet for climate summit from Monday

By Alister Doyle

PARIS, Nov 29 Activists plan to join arms and
form a “human chain” in Paris on Sunday to urge action on global
warming, in a muted rally after attacks on the city by Islamic
State, at the heart of worldwide protests on the eve of a U.N.
climate summit in France.

More than 2,000 climate events are planned in cities
including Sydney, Jakarta, Berlin, London, Sao Paulo and New
York, making it one of the biggest days of action on climate
change in history, organisers say.

Activists in France scaled back their plans when the
government imposed a state of emergency after the attacks two
weeks ago killed 130 people, banning the planned demonstration
in Paris, meant as the biggest of all.

In France, activists plan to form a static human chain,
formed by about 3,400 people joining arms along what had been
the original 3 km (1.9 miles) route through central Paris from
the Place de la Republique to Place de la Nation.

“This is a moment for the whole world to join hands,” said
Iain Keith, campaign director for Avaaz, one of the organisers.

Separately, more than 10,000 demonstrators who had planned
to come to Paris have instead sent shoes to form a big pile in a
sign of solidarity. Organisers said the Vatican even sent a pair
to represent Pope Francis.

Alix Mazounie of French Climate Action Network said the
activists reckoned a human chain would not violate the state of
emergency.

“This is not civil disobedience,” she said. The chain would
break, for instance, wherever it crossed a road to avoid
disrupting traffic.

But, underscoring security worries, France put 24 green
activists under house arrest before the summit, Interior
Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Saturday, saying they were
suspected of planning violent protests at the talks.

Still, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius welcomed the
worldwide demonstrations, which organisers say will include
concerts, rallies, bicycle rides and a march by 1,000 Maasai in
Tanzania urging more renewable energy.

“It is very positive,” Fabius said, for governments to feel
public pressure to act. Many environmental activists want a
phase-out of fossil fuels and a shift to 100 percent renewable
energies by 2050.

Some marches were held on Friday and Saturday, from
Melbourne to Edinburgh. “Don’t be a fossil fool,” one Australian
banner said.

In the biggest single march on climate change ever staged,
last year organisers estimated 310,000 people took part in New
York.

On Saturday, faith groups delivered a series of petitions
signed by 1.8 million people urging stronger action, collected
on pilgrimages to Paris. “The time for talking is long over,”
said Yeb Sano of the Philippines, who walked 1,500 km from Rome.

Fina Dinkelt, 28, a Swiss health care worker at a march in
Zurich on Saturday, said there was a risk marches did not appeal
to enough people. “I think they just draw people who already
think this way. That is a bit of a problem,” she said.

(With extra reporting by Michael Shields in Vienna; editing by
Susan Thomas)

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