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Eugene, Oregon, United States
I believe my generation has the unique opportunity to save the world. If no action is taken, the world will see catastrophic climate change within the next half century, the cost of which will be measured in human lives. But at this pivotal moment, we have a window of opportunity. We can create the just, sustainable and prosperous future that we seek. I am a Vassar student spending my junior year at the University of Oregon, and I am going to Copenhagen this December to do everything I can to ensure that a mutual survival pact is agreed upon, not a suicide pact.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Meet me by the Giant Purple Balloon next to the Pandas with Flames on their Heads and After the Dragon

It is hard to describe for you what it is like to be a part of a 100,000 person event.  I can only give my small 1/100,000 of a perspective.  Jette, Ebbe, Katherine and I rode into the city together, and had to get off early because it wasn’t running its full route due to the march. People were streaming from all different directions to the starting point - Parliament Square. Once we met up with some of the people from our group (which was no easy task), we grabbed a bite to eat at a bakery that was so busy it was giving numbers out like it was the DMV, and watched a creative street performance of some guys who could play entire songs on half full beer bottles.  We began to walk with the march.  The crowd went on for days (or, rather ~4 miles I am told), and the general attitude was one of collective joy and determination. 

My group was kind of moving through the crowd because we were trying to find the ‘youth’ section,’ so we saw the variety of the people involved.  There were people with communist flags, a party bus that was blaring techno music and shooting gold confetti, about 20 humans dressed as panda bears, a campfire on wheels (this was great because it was freezing out!), a group of people wearing green construction hats who every few minutes would stop then run forward, a life-sized marionette with people acting out the roles of world leaders being played by big business, several sails, an ark, and so much more.  It was very easy to get separated from each other, and once we were separated, it was very hard to find each other again, but the instructions for how to meet were something like “meet me by the giant purple balloon next to the pandas with flames on their heads and after the dragon.” 

There were police present, but I did not see any conflict between demonstrators and the police whatsoever.  In fact, people were taking pictures with the riot cops, and one cop even held a sign for a picture.  As far as I know, the entirety of the march was completely peaceful, except for the 900 or so outrageous detainments at the end of the demo.  

As the sun went down, we all began to gather in the streets outside of the Bella Center. We bought big candles for the candlelight vigil and joined the thousands of people from around the world in dancing and listening to inspiring speakers. I think this has to be one of the largest and most international events ever.  There were literally people from every corner of the globe represented, and we are all calling on our leaders to pass a fair, ambitious and legally binding deal in Copenhagen to ensure a safe future.

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  1. That is so discriptive! How fun to meet by the giant purple balloon by the panda's with the flames on their head just past the dragon. Sounds like a wonderful world event.

  2. From Michael Funke: Hey Moey, the mass arrests sound like an over-reaction by the police. What're you all saying about that over there? Michael Funke (KPOV's Google calendar says its from Tris, but not so).


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