Sister Joan Brown’s Reflections from Copenhagen, Part 14

Dec 16, 2009 | Copenhagen

Find previous reflections from Sr. Joan Brown.
Find out more about the religious voice in Copenhagen.

S. Joan Brown

Sr. Joan Brown, OSF, Director of NM IPL

Blessings this day and please keep praying for COP 15 and if you are able, fast on Thursday for movement to an agreement in the last two days.

Tension filled the Bella Center today. Late morning I decided to pray in the meditation room for a time. Upon coming out there was a large gathering of indigenous and African people moving through the Center, calling for their voices to be heard and moving toward the outside of the Center to meet with people coming from downtown to cry out to leaders who do not seem to be listening.

Thousands gathered outside Bella Center, some trying to climb fences to get in. No one got too close, though there were some injuries by police and some arrests, and of course travel in the city was once again disturbed. Actually, the Danes have been very patient with their visitors these days.

Another Franciscan sister and myself walked in solidarity with our indigenous brothers and sisters to the outside of the Center. After a time we got in the queue to go back in. The line for entrance had been stopped for well over an hour and they announced that no NGO’s who were on the outside would be allowed in. Some had been waiting in line for hours. Yesterday, some waited in line for 6 hours. The treatment of NGO’s at the meetings has left some of us wondering if they really do want the presence and voice of civil society.

The time of polite listening and waiting is over. It is encouraging that within the Centre voices of the indigenous, Island peoples and Africans have been heard. The test will come if the hearing moves to action.

I spent the rest of the afternoon learning about gender, women and climate change in Southern Africa, and about the issues of Tibet, the Third Pole and grassland and nomad herding concerns under the Chinese rule at the Klime Forum. I also spent time reflecting. More on those reflections in another chapter.

Tonight the President of the COP 15 resigned from presiding over the meeting. She said this was planned to take place as the meeting moved into high level negotiations with all of the heads of states arriving. Yet, it seems that no one was aware of this plan.

It all feels rather chaotic. Maybe it is the chaos before a positive outcome. The Earth Community needs an agreement to address climate change. We cannot wait longer. Join me in continuing to pray and put forth intentions of light and success.

Peace and good,
Your sister,

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