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UPDATE: Council supports arrested ‘Reclaim Power’ activists

Stine Gry and Tannie Nyboe

On December 16, 2009, the Council of Canadians participated in the ‘Reclaim Power’ march in Copenhagen during the COP15 climate talks. “The purpose of the action, which was mobilised by the global network Climate Justice Action, was to hold a popular assembly which challenged the legitimacy of the official COP negotiations. Protesters from outside and critical accredited participants from inside were to create a platform for the people and groups mostly affected by climate change, whose voices were (and still are) not being listened to in the official COP negotiations.” For more on this action, please see http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=2544 and http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=2539.

Days later, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow and climate justice campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue wrote in the Ottawa Citizen, “It is of fundamental importance to emphasize that there was no violence on the part of demonstrators. While the action was one of civil disobedience, it was non-violent; the demonstrators did not respond to police with violence.” Additional media comments by Barlow on the march can be read at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=2565.

On June 1, 2011, the High Court of Denmark sentenced Tannie Nyboe and Stine Gry Jonassen to two months of prison and two months of suspended prison (one year of probation) for their involvement in this non-violent civil disobedient mass action. Tannie and Stine Gry now face high court costs, possibly up to 30.000 Euros ($42,000) or more.

“In holding two individuals responsible for a whole movement’s collective decision-making and collective protests, Tannie and Stine Gry’s verdict violates and undermines fundamental principles of social movement politics.” As such, the Council of Canadians has made a $1,000 contribution to their legal costs at http://www.climatecollective.org/da/take-action/donate/.