Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Monday, 30 November 2015

French Protest Climate Change Via Shoes

French Protest Climate Change Via Shoes

The Debrief: No, it’s not a quirky French way to protest, it’s because it’s the only way they can…

Following the Paris attacks of November 13th, France has been declared as a state of emergency. As well as giving police forces more search powers, this means there’s a ban on protests. Which has proved tricky now the UN Climate Conference has come to town.

Heads of state from 147 countries are meeting in the French capital to work out if they can keep carbon emissions low enough to stop global warming from exceeding 2 degrees higher than it was in pre-industrial times. They also want to secure deals to ensure we’re all using 100% renewable energy.

The talks have prompted many people to peacefully protest in various countries across the world in 2,500 demonstrations. In the UK, 50,000 people attended a climate change march in London, holding banners like ‘ACT NOW OR SWIM LATER’ and ‘CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW’. People like Jeremy Corbyn, Charlotte Church, Emma Thompson and Vivienne Westwood turned up, too.

But over in Paris? Police deployed tear gas against protestors to split them up as they tried to demonstrate in the Place de la République. Protestors threw missiles and chanted things like: ‘State of emergency, police state, you will not deprive us of our right to demonstrate.’ Officers arrested 280 protestors. Earlier on, thousands of shoes had been laid out in formation on the square. This was done to represent all of the people who would like to have their voice heard in the fight to have climate change goals taken seriously.

Picture: Getty

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Tags: Protests, France