News - November 24, 2015

WU’R not going to Paris

Koen Guiking

The Wageningen students that wanted to go to Paris to demonstrate during the climate summit, will now protest in Amsterdam. Due to the terror threat the climate march in Paris has been cancelled.

The bus from Wageningen to Paris was already booked and all 87 places were reserved. There was even a waiting list of thirty students that also wanted to join the “WU’R going to Paris”. But after the attack in Paris the French authorities decided on Wednesday that the protest march, where ten thousand people would participate, should be cancelled.

A pity, but understandable, says Femke Lootens, student Environmental Sciences who took the initiative to travel with a large Wageningen delegation to Paris. Thursday evening a large part of the “WU’R going to Paris” group met up to discuss what happens now. Lootens: ‘If we can still cancel the bus, then we want to organize something on Saturday (28th of November) in Wageningen, and on Sunday (29th of November) we will join the climate parade in Amsterdam. If we cannot get a refund, then we will still go to Paris on Friday evening to attend the Conference of Youth on Saturday. Because that conference, which we were already planning to attend, is still happening. We will then return Saturday evening, so that we can join the climate parade in Amsterdam on Sunday. But probably we will stay home.’

The organizations that had prepared the protest march in Paris together – the Climate Coalition – had decided on Monday to go through with the march, but Wednesday evening the French authorities reported that they still had to blow it off. ‘ We will focus on the more than two thousand events organized worldwide’, says Ria Voorhaan of Climate Action Network. ‘The French activists are seeing if they can still do something in a creative manner. Besides that they are calling for people in other places in the world to speak on their behalf. People want to face the world with hope, not with fear. Of course the demonstrations will also be about that. We call for a cleaner, safer, and fair world. This is about the climate, but of course it is also related to many other issues.’

The climate summit in Paris, from the 30th of November to the 11th of December is still happening, including most side events. The organizers do take cancellations into account for the events organized around the official summit.