Press Release for Immediate Release
Thursday, December 17 2009
In response to the arrest of Climate Justice Action spokesperson Tadzio Mueller, as well as over a thousand others taking part in protests around the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen, hundreds of academics, journalists and members of civil society have signed an Open Letter of protest to the Danish Parliament.
Signatories include: Naomi Klein (author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine); Rebecca Solnit (author of A Paradise Built in Hell); Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri (authors of the books Empire, Multitude, and Commonwealth); Christine Buchholz, Ulla Jelpke and Alexander Ulrich (Left Party Members of the German Bundestag); Halina Wawzyniak and Katja Kipping (Left Party Members of the German Bundestag and Deputy Leaders of the Left Party, Germany); Gabriele Zimmer (MEP, Left Party, Germany); Jan Philipp Albrecht (MEP, Green Party, Germany); Frieder Otto Wolf (former German Green Party MEP); Gesine Agena (Spokeswoman, Green Party Youth, Germany); Walden Bello (Member of Congress, Philippines); Olivier Besancenot (New Anti-Capitalist Party, France); Lindsey German (Convenor, Stop the War Coalition UK); Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper); Elke Steven (Committee for Basic Rights and Democracy, Germany); Wu Ming (authors of Q and Manituana); Peer Stolle (Management Board of the Republikanischer Anwaeltinnen- und Anwaelteverein); Moema Miranda (coordinator, The Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analysis - IBASE); Susan George (Honorary President Attac France); artists Adrian Ghenie and Danica Phelps; Jimmy McGovern (screenwriter); and the NGO network Friends of the Earth International.
The Open Letter was drafted by Turbulence: Ideas for Movement, a magazine of which Tadzio Mueller is a co-editor. Ben Trott, from Turbulence, and a signatory of the Open Letter said, “Tadzio is one of a number of prominent activists who’ve been singled out by the Danish police for their out-spoken criticism of the UN Climate Summit. He’s long been sceptical about any kind of decent deal being reached in Copenhagen. As the meeting starts to draw towards a close, it looks like that was well-placed. Silencing the voices of those who say that space is needed for a genuine discussion of real and just solutions to the climate crisis is looking increasingly untenable.”
Emma Dowling, a lecturer in Ethics, Governance and Accountability at the University of London, and another signatory, said, “People from all over the world have signed the petition. This shows how far-reaching the outrage is about the policing of the Copenhagen summit and the obvious attacks on critical voices.”
Ulla Jelpke, Member of the German Parliament, added: “Every international summit in the last few years is overshadowed by repression and police-brutality against demonstrators. But it is the democratic right of every single person affected by the efforts of those summits to protest and to demand alternatives. All those who have been arrested should be released immediately and without charge.”
The full text of the Open Letter reads as follows:
“Release Tadzio Mueller and the other climate prisoners!
“Over the past week, tens of thousands of people from across the planet have taken to the streets of Copenhagen demanding real and just solutions to climate change. But on the streets, as well as inside the UN Climate Change Conference, delegates and ‘outsiders’ alike are doubting that the conference will reach a deal that isn’t a disaster for most of the world.
“Inside the Bella Centre, where the UN delegates are meeting, numerous critical voices have been marginalised through technical and procedural manoeuvres. Others, like Friends of the Earth International, have had their accreditation revoked. Outside, the policing of protest has been consistently draconian and occasionally brutal.
“On Saturday 12 December, almost 1,000 participants in a ‘Climate March’ through Copenhagen were arrested. On Monday 14 December, hundreds more were arrested at a party in the city’s Christiania district following a public meeting, addressed by Canadian journalist Naomi Klein and others. On Tuesday 15 December, Tadzio Mueller, a spokesperson for Climate Justice Action, was arrested by undercover police officers following a press conference at the Bella Centre.
“This morning, on Wednesday 16 December, Tadzio appeared before a judge on a number of charges relating to his public support for today’s Reclaim Power demonstration. The declared aim of Reclaim Power – also supported by social movements, many conference delegates and other civil society actors – is to hold a People’s Assembly at the Bella Centre, to discuss real solutions to climate change. At this morning’s court hearing the judge decided to hold Tadzio for a further three days, after which he will reappear in court. There are reports that the hearing was closed to the public.
“Meanwhile, hundreds more protesters have been arrested today and there have been numerous reports of police brutality and the extensive use of batons, pepper spray and tear gas. We have also heard of further arrests of individual activists by undercover police officers.
“We, the undersigned, not only lend our support to those in Copenhagen seeking to push for real and just solutions to climate change, but also demand the following:
· The immediate release of Tadzio Mueller and all other climate prisoners;
· A halt to the criminalisation and intimidation of activists, including the pre-emptive detaining of protesters in Copenhagen;
· The immediate re-instatement of accreditation withdrawn from NGOs and other critical voices at the Climate Summit
“This Open Letter was drafted by the editors of Turbulence: Ideas for Movement, of which Tadzio Mueller is an editor.”
Notes to the editor
1) The Open Letter can be found online, here: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/Tadzio/petition.html or via www.turbulence.org.uk
2) The authors of the Open Letter, Turbulence: Ideas for Movement, can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org or via 0044 7887527650
3) Climate Justice Action’s website is: www.climate-justice-action.org. Their media contact details are: (tel.) 00 45 50 66 90 28, (email) email@example.com