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Anti-COP-26 protesters kept at bay by lack of COVID-19 vaccination

Monday, November 1st 2021 - 09:37 UTC
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Travel restrictions have kept climate activists away from Glasgow Travel restrictions have kept climate activists away from Glasgow

Climate activists have denounced Glasgow's COP26 summit as “the most exclusive” of all those that have been held. The Global Climate Justice also pointed out developing countries did not have access to that forum.

The level of exclusion from COP26 is “extreme,” the group said during a press conference, where criticism was harsh on the “process of issuing visas, quarantines, misinformation and modification of policies at the last minute by the British Government,” which -they claim- has led to the absence of representatives from poor countries.

“Our presence has been reduced,” said Philippine activist Dorothy Guerrero, who lamented that “this is the most exclusive Climate conference” in all of history.

The activist explained how the economic system, dominated by big business, materialized through “the monopolization of vaccines” of the host country, the United Kingdom.

“You have the United Kingdom vaccinating more than 132 countries together,” reflected Guerrero, who insisted the problem lied in not “facilitating access to the manufacture of the vaccine, especially in developing countries,” which was “one of the reasons why many people have not been able to come here.”

Without double vaccination it was not possible to “process the visa” as “most of the participants were on the red list” of countries affected by Covid-19 and were affected by travel restrictions imposed by the United Kingdom, the activists claimed.

“Even having received the first vaccine, they could not register,” said Guerrero, who regretted that the “last minute rule change affected plans.”

The mandatory quarantine in hotels upon arrival “was to be paid for by the United Kingdom Government”, but the Executive abolished it, leaving participants “without accommodation” as they were “reserved or very expensive”, since the average price of Stay per night is around 500 pounds (about 593 euros).

“This COP is designed for all those who are in Europe and North America,” with “a higher percentage of vaccination, and that should not be accepted.”

The United Nations Conference of Parties or COP-26 scheduled to have taken place in Glasgow in 2020 will now take place Nov. 1-2, 2021.

Global Justice Now activists and staff will be attending the protests and Nov. 5 and 6, also in Glasgow, but in other British cities as well, while a People’s Summit for Climate Justice (or countersummit) will be staged from Nov. 7 to 10

“As well as being an important space to protest the lack of government action on climate change, and call fossil fuel corporations to account, the UN climate summit in Glasgow is an opportunity to meet fellow activists, take action and learn from each other,” the group sais on its website.

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