Wearing keffiyehs and waving watermelon banners, more than 200 environmental activists staged a protest at the ongoing COP28 on Sunday, calling for an 'unconditional and immediate ceasefire in Gaza' as the number of deaths continues to rise following the expiration of a temporary truce.
The protest held inside the UN-controlled Blue Zone commenced by calling the names of those who died in Gaza due to Israeli bombing. "The list is still being written as we hold this protest," the emcee said while protesters sobbed.
The announcer's voice quivered as she uttered the name of a 6-year-old victim who had tragically lost her life. Despite her evident emotional strain, she persevered, systematically naming the victims — from months-old babies to the elderly.
There is no climate justice without human rights, the protesters strongly chanted.
"Climate advocates stand for victims of genocide. Fight (and stand) for the oppressed, as we stand for the environment, Luke Espiritu, labour leader from the Philippines and member of the Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD).
"There is no climate justice without human rights. We do not simply hug trees or cry 'protect the dolphins and sea turtles'. If preserving other life forms is linked to our survival as a species, then clearly, we see that keeping within 1.5 degrees Celsius to save humanity becomes hollow if we allow the slaughter and degradation of human life not by extreme weather events but through bullets and bombs," Espiritu added.
Climate activists added they could never remain neutral when thousands of people die under the yoke of oppression.
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