Protests Continue in Madrid, Spain, Amid COP25

HeadlineDec 10, 2019

Protests continue here in Madrid, Spain, as part of COP25. This morning, indigenous women protested outside the U.S. Embassy to demand action to address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls across North America. Madrid police shut down the protest within minutes. This is Moñeka De Oro from Guam.

Moñeka De Oro: “I see that my struggle to protect my land and waters from militarization and from the expansion of U.S. imperialism in my waters and in the whole region of Micronesia is very much connected to the violence and the assaults on the women across North and South America.”

On Monday, indigenous climate leaders also gathered outside the Canadian Embassy in Madrid to protest the Canadian government’s support of the Alberta tar sands extraction and mine and pipeline infrastructure. This is Ta’Kaiya Blaney of the Tla’amin First Nation.

Ta’Kaiya Blaney: “We’re here to stand against destruction, because it directly impacts us. Violence against the land is violence against indigenous people, and violence against the land is violence against future generations. So we’re here to bring visibility to not just that desecration but also bring visibility to, like, indigenous climate defenders.”

Also on Monday, Chilean activists gathered outside the COP25 venue to protest the right-wing government of President Sebastián Piñera and to denounce the summit being relocated to Madrid amid massive anti-austerity protests in Chile. The COP is being run by Chile even though the Chilean government canceled it in Santiago amid massive anti-austerity protests there and the U.N. then moved it to Madrid. This is Chilean feminist activist Christine Engelbreit.

Christine Engelbreit: “Spain cannot welcome a murderous government, because the government of Sebastián Piñera is murdering, is wounding and is purposely mutilating our people with the armed forces and the police. It’s a deliberate attack. They perfectly know what they are doing. They are violating protocols. It has been confirmed by the Human Rights Watch that there are human rights violations and that the state is denying it. It’s a state that negates what is happening. Protocols are not being followed, and human rights are being violated in Chile.”

And in yet another protest on Monday, protesters walked out of a forum on carbon markets promoted by oil companies including BP, Chevron and Shell. The activists covered their ears and walked out as Shell vice president Duncan van Bergen began speaking. They later confronted him as he left the forum.

Protester: “Are you willing to do what they’re asking you to do?”

Duncan van Bergen: “Nobody’s asked me anything. But what’s clear is that there is a need for urgent climate action.”

Protester: “OK. A complete withdrawal from fossil fuels?”

Duncan van Bergen: “I — I think the dialogue is much more complex than that. But I would agree with everybody who says there is a need for absolute and urgent climate action.”

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