By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
DUBAI — Despite the restrictions here at the 28th Conference of the Parties, groups under the COP 28 Coalition held a solidarity action for Palestine on Dec. 9 in Dubai.
According to the COP 28 coalition, civil society organizations have negotiated with the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to hold the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice in Expo City where the climate summit is being held.
While they were able to push through with the march, the coalition said they were not allowed to chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
“Apparently, it (the chant) was deemed offensive. We tried to explain that there’s different views about that chant. But it is apparently a UN position that it will now allow the UN spaces to use (because it’s deemed offensive by some),” Tasheem Essop, executive director of the Climate Action Network.
“We are at the climate conference in Dubai because it is also an opportunity to raise voice. Make people aware that there is an ongoing genocide and that we must call for a ceasefire now,” Essop said.
Activists held placards with the calls to “Ceasefire Now!” and “Climate Justice Now!” among many others as they walked around the climate summit venue.
A report by Democracy Now! said that protests in solidarity with Palestine have faced restrictions. In a report by Democracy Now! Asad Rehman, lead spokesperson for Climate Justice Coalition said climate summit officials have threatened to debadge participants who show their solidarity with Palestine like wearing colors of the Palestinian flag, the solidarity lanyard, a watermelon pin, keffiyehs or anything that depicts the call for a ceasefire.
Security personnel also told activists to remove pins or any paraphernalia symbolizing Palestine as these are “forms of demonstration.”
In the same report, Rehman said they have been abiding within the UN rules, but the rules are being changed everyday.
COP 28 Coalition is an alliance of various civil society organizations from 75 countries. Since day one of the COP, the coalition has expressed their solidarity with people in Gaza calling for ceasefire and scaling up of humanitarian aid.