The Saturday March
by Courtney Shephard -- December 12th, 2009
Today, an extremely large group of people marched from downtown Copenhagen to the Bella Center. And by extremely large, I mean more than 60,000 people.
I arrived at the protest two hours in advance and the numbers were already swelling. Armed with a clipboard and surveys, I felt like the kid in A Christmas Story thanks to my many layers. I volunteered to help Dana Fisher, an Associate Professor at Columbia, survey protesters along with one of my colleges from Duke and three members of the Yale delegation. I quickly discovered that convincing people to take a ten-minute survey, in English, and in the cold is not an easy task…especially when people are holding large signs and banners, or dressed in crazy costumes. However, I managed to get a good number completed and I hope that my other team members were more successful. It was impossible to find them when the march began, so we pre-planned to reconvene later.
It was a very neat experience to be surrounded by so many people that care about the environment and about our future! I saw old people, young people, students, and babies in adorable bicycle carts. There were polar bears, dragons, and pandas. There were communists, anarchists (note to self: covering your face and wearing black = easy way to get arrested), socialists, capitalists, anti-capitalists, and people that hated globalization.
I was way too cold to walk to the Bella Center by the time that the march actually began, so I headed to the top of a hill to watch the march from above. The march was very peaceful and very upbeat from my vantage point. I steered clear of the anarchist group that was running to evade the police because I had the smart idea to wear all black this morning. But otherwise, it was a great show of support for swift, direct action!