Lacy MacAuley

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a home for my pen, projects, and passions

police violence, tear gas, arrests, and injustice at Paris Climate March

Climate march and police violence. Wow, what a day. We all knew that despite a ban on protest at Paris COP21 climate summit, many would march anyway. The COP21 meetings with UN and government personnel begin tomorrow morning. Our day of protest began at the Place de la Republique, with a calm demonstration. It ended in police violence. We got tear gassed so many times by French police, pushed and clubbed, then trapped by police on a tiny street corner for hours. At one point everyone thought that the Paris police would arrest everyone trapped, but many of us were let go.

In one moment, police advanced on a crowd of young, peaceful, seated protesters. They were not harming anyone, and did not pose a threat. Police simply began beating them with clubs, without so much as a word of French exchanged. I put my video of this moment on Twitter, and it was retweeted over 2,000 times. Another tweet was posted on an MSNBC article of the day’s events. Here is that tweet, with link to video:Lacy - Viral Tweet - Paris Police Violence

We were in the streets to call for real climate justice, to demand solutions. We were in the streets for our children and grandchildren. We were in the streets for the poor of the world, for those without a voice, to demand system change. We were in the streets because climate catastrophe breeds terrorism, to stand for the freedom to demonstrate, and to show the Paris attackers that they did not win. We were in the streets because we have the audacity to believe in our own wild dreams!

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The tear gas was only one of our challenges. The real tears that we shed are for the future of humanity, if we do not change course on climate.

 

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