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Blog: copenhagen09

Thousands turned out and had fun in protests

By Ada Lee and Katie Day

Despite the freezing weather this morning, thousands of people marched the streets to express their hope for an instant act towards climate change.

Chanting slogans “Climate justice” and “Yes we can. Yes we must. Yes we will,” protesters marched 6km from Christianborg to the Bella Centre. Estimates of the number of protesters was between 750,000 and 100,000, exceeding what the organisers originally expected.

Although some violence broke out with almost 1,000 people being arrested, the protest was largely peaceful and calm.

The protest was kicked off by a number of speeches, moving and lifting the crowd with words of hope and optimism.

Besides voicing their demands in words, protesters played their drums and other instruments along the way. Some protesting groups played music on trucks. Others danced the streets on the way to the Bella centre.

Many were dressed up in the protest. One group, which advocated going vegetarian to save the environment dressed up as animals, “I’m marching for climate justice” one said.

Wearing a polar bear outfit one protestor said he dressed up “to symbolise the victims of climate change.” His message to world leaders, “don’t let the iceburgs melt.”

Another lady dressed as a rabbit was marching “for a better world for my children”

Organisers described the protest as “a big success”.

“We have got a broad range of protesters from all corners of the world. There are grandparents and children participating in it. The demonstration is peaceful, colourful and focused,” Knud Vilby, spokesperson for the organisers said.

After marching for more than four hours, the first batch of protesters arrived at Bella Centre, turning the protest into a big carnival, with more music and dancing.

Fire torches were lit as the sky darkened, everyone standing together to send a strong and clear message to the world leaders: sign a fair and legally binding climate deal, and sign it, now.

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It's done - COP15 was from 7-18 December 2009 - and did not reach the expected results. We (the student newsroom and lab) worked from 6-15 December - and reached more than we expected.

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