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COP28 Protesters Demand End Of Fossil Fuels, Gaza War

Holding pro-environment banners painted in the colours of the Palestinian flag, the demonstrators shouted for "Climate justice!" and "Ceasefire now!"


Demonstrators hold a banner reading “Climate resistance” during a protest for climate in Lisbon on December 9, 2023, as the international climate conference COP28 is taking place in Dubai. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)

 

Hundreds of people joined the biggest protest yet at COP28 in Dubai on Saturday, chanting for the end of fossil fuels and a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

Holding pro-environment banners painted in the colours of the Palestinian flag, the demonstrators shouted for “Climate justice!” and “Ceasefire now!”

The Gaza war has been a lingering presence at the United Nations meeting in Dubai, where negotiators from around the world are trying to strike a new agreement on global warming.

“It’s the same fight, it’s the same thing — it’s colonialism, it’s genocide,” said Mexican activist Isavela Lopez, describing the links between climate injustice and the war.

“They are taking away what is rightfully ours, what is rightfully our resources, they are taking away our land, our biodiversity… and then they use it for themselves and to make themselves richer.”

Protests are a rare occurrence in the United Arab Emirates, where demonstrations need official authorisation.

The ‘Blue Zone’ where the COP28 talks are taking place, on the sprawling site that housed Expo 2020, is currently under UN control.

“I stand for everybody that is oppressed,” said American Claire Charlo of the Just Transition Alliance.

“I feel for everybody that is experiencing genocide right now because it happened to us in the United States in 1492.”

The Gaza war was triggered by an unprecedented attack on October 7 by Palestinian Hamas militants who killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took around 240 hostage, according to Israel authorities.

Israeli reprisals aimed at rooting out Hamas have killed at least 17,490 people, mostly women and children, Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry says.

AFP