Canadian Activists Barred from Durban Summit for Protesting Environment Minister

Follow the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition in Durban, South Africa

Canada’s Minister of Environment Peter Kent addressed the United Nations Climate Change Conference today and defended his country’s environmental record despite Canada’s support of continued tar sands oil extraction and its threat to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol. Soon after Kent began speaking, six members of the Canadian Youth Delegation stood up and turned their backs on the minister. They were taken out of the room and later stripped of their credentials to the climate change conference. “Today, six of us stood up and turned our backs on the government of Canada, in the same way the government of Canada has turned its back on us,” says activist Karen Rooney. “We are calling on the government of Canada to start putting the interests of people over the interests of polluters.

AMY GOODMAN: In other news, just before we went on air, Canada’s minister of the environment, Peter Kent, addressed the climate change conference and defended his country’s environmental record despite Canada’s support of continued tar sands mining and its threat to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol. Soon after Kent began speaking, six members of the Canadian Youth Delegation stood up and turned their backs on the minister. As they were being escorted out of the room, Democracy Now! spoke with one of the activists.

KAREN ROONEY: My name is Karen Rooney. Today, six of us stood up and turned our backs on the government of Canada, in the same way the government of Canada has turned its back on us. And we are calling on the government of Canada to start putting the interests of people over the interests of polluters. Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: The six members of the Canadian Youth Delegation who stood up during Peter Kent’s speech were later stripped of their credentials to the climate change conference. Yes, those are the voices of delegates.

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