New Internationalist

Highs and Lows of Copenhagen

I’ve come to Copenhagen as an activist. Three years of grassroots activism with the UK Climate Camp meant I knew I had to come to this summit. As I now approach my final day here I wanted to share with you my highs and lows from the experience.


  • Cycling through the falling snow with my activist ‘affinity group’ on our way to the Reclaim  Power action 
  • Recycling a broken down, disused bicycle found on the street into a resitance machine to use in the bike bloc
  • Dancing the Hokey Cokey whilst facing a line of riot police
  • Glimpsing a tiny smile on the face of one of the line as we continued to dance
  • Taking part in a meeting of hundreds of activists from across the world knowing we come from many backgrounds but are united in our struggle for climate justice
  • Eating more danish pastries than really necessary
  • Seeing our movement constantly evaluate its effectiveness and look for new ways to achieve the change we need


  • Realising brogues were really not suitable footwear for taking direct action in the snow
  • Feeling the freezing water seep unto my feet and almost, almost wanting to cry
  • Listening to a fellow activist tell of his degrading treatment in a Danish cell
  • Hearing a friend had been arrested, detained for two days and deported for having a bike repair tool….in a bike workshop
  • Hearing this summit we knew would fail had done so spectacularly

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