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Crime Government Politics

France Using Emergency Powers To Prevent Climate Change Protests (theguardian.com) 248

Bruce66423 writes: Following the Paris massacre, the French government declared a state of emergency. One of the regulations this introduced was control of large scale gatherings, and one of the events that is being caught up in this is planned protests to do with the Climate Change conference in Paris next month. This has resulted in some activists being put under house arrest — yet other gathering, such as commercial street markets — are being allowed to go ahead. Funny that; anyone would think that the government is using the opportunity to suppress dissent.
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France Using Emergency Powers To Prevent Climate Change Protests

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  • by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Friday November 27, 2015 @11:30PM (#51016177)

    Is the French government a known climate denier?

    Or are they suppressing mass demonstrations for other reasons?

    • zealots ^2 (Score:3, Insightful)

      The French govt probably doesn't want events that provoke large crowds with angry people that might have zealots with conflicting views. Imagine: Angry CAGW zealots meet climate realists/"deniers" with normal angry puke and threats. Islamic terrorists decide the cover and distraction is perfect for a bigger score, sending more infidels to burn before police even realize the attack.
      • I have never heard of protesters forming into opposing mobs and attacking eachother being a common problem. I think what you are thinking of is sporting events.

    • by Soft ( 266615 )

      Is the French government a known climate denier?

      Not the current one. In France, the only climate change denier with any standing I can think of is a former Education minister (1997-2000), now completely marginalized.

      I think the "dissent" aspect is actually some denier activists, and especially people proposing alternate solutions to whatever will come out of the governments' negociations. And perhaps, piggybacking on that, protests against nuclear energy, anti-capitalist activism, the usual. In fact, l

    • You don't need to be a climate denier to get sick of some of the protesting crap that is happening in the world. France is in the bottom quartile of CO2 emissions in the EU countries both in absolute terms and per capita terms. They are also on the forefront of regulating diesel use, and attempting to reduce car use in the inner city (not helped by Paris's crap air quality).

      The idea that people are protesting against the French government on environmental grounds seems quite strange to me.

    • by dfenstrate ( 202098 ) <dfenstrate AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday November 28, 2015 @07:19AM (#51017013)

      Is the French government a known climate denier?

      Or are they suppressing mass demonstrations for other reasons?

      Have you considered using the word 'heretic' instead of 'denier'?

    • by Conspicuous Coward ( 938979 ) on Saturday November 28, 2015 @10:17AM (#51017377)

      No, the French government doesn't deny the existence of anthropogenic climate change. Nor does the US, China, or indeed virtually any major government or multinational corporation. Despite that fact, global CO2 emissions are still rising on an exponential curve. And all of these organisations are actively searching for more sources of fossil fuels at a time when science tells us we need to keep ~80% of known fossil reserves in the ground to avoid dangerous climate change

      Climate denial-ism is a sideshow intended to keep you distracted. The media loudly promote a debate that doesn't really exist any more so that people can feel good they aren't a part of the evil climate deniers causing the problem. Liberals who loudly proclaim the importance of fighting climate change while doing everything they can to increase emissions have been far more of a threat to our climate than deniers for at least 20 years. When Obama gives another inspirational speech about preserving the environment for future generations everybody claps, and nobody bothers to mention the fact that the man has authorised an unprecedented increase in US domestic oil and gas production.

      The COP conference in Paris will be little more than another sideshow intended to keep you distracted. We already know that there will be no legally binding agreements to reduce emissions and that the voluntary pledges countries are prepared to sign up to will likely lead to some 3-4C of warming even if implemented fully.

      The reality is we live in a world that is gearing up for more, not less, fossil fuel use. Despite the loud proclamations of governments and media corporations to the contrary.

      That is why protest is necessary and why the French government is actively suppressing dissent with these measures.

  • Hypocrite (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Barny ( 103770 ) <bakadamage-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Friday November 27, 2015 @11:41PM (#51016201) Journal

    They are just joining in on the fun, America, UK, Australia have all been abusing legislature regarding terrorists for many many years now. France will not be denied their piece of the totalitarian pie.

  • Quote: (Score:3, Informative)

    by bitchtits ( 4000013 ) on Friday November 27, 2015 @11:41PM (#51016205)
    'French authorities did not respond to requests for comment but lawyers said that the warrants were issued under state of emergency laws, imposed after the terror attacks that killed 130 people earlier this month. The author and climate change campaigner, Naomi Klein, accused French authorities of “a gross abuse of power that risks turning the summit into a farce”.'
  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Friday November 27, 2015 @11:46PM (#51016213) Journal
    Find a suitable reason to declare a state of emergency. Use the state of emergency to suppress legitimate protests. An event that outrages people used to remove civil liberties and the opportunity for dissent.

    Where have we seen this before? In every country that became a dictatorship.
    • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Saturday November 28, 2015 @12:27AM (#51016297)
      Don't underestimate the impact of the 2-weeks-ago-yet-fresh-massacre though. So, this time the protests are suppressed, and in a year from now they will be authorized again. Do you really think France, and especially the French, would accept a "state of emergency" lasting years? No. Moreover there are presidential elections in less than two years, and the party abusing the current situation more than necessary would be decimated by the voters. The French are really attached to freedom.
      • by c ( 8461 ) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Saturday November 28, 2015 @08:56AM (#51017189)

        Do you really think France, and especially the French, would accept a "state of emergency" lasting years?

        I wouldn't have expected the average American to tolerate minimum wage thugs groping children and elderly without effective results for years, either... but apparently, the terrorists won that round.

    • by drnb ( 2434720 ) on Saturday November 28, 2015 @12:41AM (#51016319)

      Find a suitable reason to declare a state of emergency. Use the state of emergency to suppress legitimate protests. An event that outrages people used to remove civil liberties and the opportunity for dissent. Where have we seen this before? In every country that became a dictatorship.

      Right, so the French government that recognizes climate change and agrees it is a major issue to be dealt with is afraid of protesters who recognize climate change and believe it is a major issue to be dealt with?

      • Right, so the French government that recognizes climate change and agrees it is a major issue to be dealt with is afraid of protesters who recognize climate change and believe it is a major issue to be dealt with?

        Perhaps it has more to do with getting the populace used to suppression of dissent?

        • by drnb ( 2434720 ) on Saturday November 28, 2015 @01:04AM (#51016373)

          Right, so the French government that recognizes climate change and agrees it is a major issue to be dealt with is afraid of protesters who recognize climate change and believe it is a major issue to be dealt with?

          Perhaps it has more to do with getting the populace used to suppression of dissent?

          What dissent? The protesters and the government agree.

          • What dissent? The protesters and the government agree.

            They were going to protest, were they not? How is that not dissent? Just because they may not have been about to protest against the French government does not stop it from being dissent.

            You are being obtuse. The story title is "France Using Emergency Powers To Prevent Climate Change Protests". The story is about the suppression of protests. Protests are about dissent.

            • Protests are about dissent.

              More than one protester has gone to protest just because protesting is very fun.

              • by Cederic ( 9623 )

                My mother went to a CND protest because she wanted to sleep with one of the organisers.

            • Knowing that these protesters are allies of the French govt on this topic, knowing that the terrorists wish to hurt the French govt AND it's people as deeply as it can, knowing that this is a major international event which will be highly covered in news world-wide, and knowing that this is a predictable predetermined time and location where massive causalities might be inflicted, it's almost too good an opportunity for terrorists to pass up.

              Maybe, just maybe, you could look at the big picture and give c
              • it's almost too good an opportunity for terrorists to pass up.

                I'd have let it go ahead. Maybe it would tempt them into acting, and if you lose a few crusties in the process who cares?

      • by Uberbah ( 647458 ) on Saturday November 28, 2015 @01:29AM (#51016405)

        Right, so the French government that recognizes climate change and agrees it is a major issue to be dealt with

        Does it really agree, or is it just throwing around two-faced platitudes it has no intention of honoring? Like Obama when he vowed to renegotiate NAFTA, or Hillary now being against the TPP after she spent years drafting it as SOS.

    • Sure, but that's not always how it plays out. In the USA, Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus -- but it was restored at the end of the civil war. Granted, that's not exactly the way the Patriot Act has played out, but still...governments aren't always nefarious entities, and sometimes they even do The Right Thing at the end of the day.
      • Sadly people in Europe have seen it more than once that a "good" government imposed laws during times of crisis that allowed shortcuts past a limitation of power so they could act in a time of crisis, only to see a dictator elected soon after that abused those shortcuts to eliminate the separation of powers.

        I don't want to say that our current governments are "evil". I just say it's dangerous to implement tools that allow for the elimination of oversight because you can't be certain that their spirit will b

    • Yeah, because they couldn't possibly be afraid of there being more gunmen or maybe some suicide bombers waiting for another opportunity to strike at another soft target, like a bunch of climate change activists amassing pubicly and creating another massacre. What do you think France is, the United States?

      Sincerely,
      A U.S. Citizen
    • Use the state of emergency to suppress legitimate protests.

      Define "legitimate protest". We are talking about protests against the government which runs one of the lowest CO2 producing countries in the EU, a government who recognises climate change, and a government who's leading the way in curbing emissions, not just global warming, but also things like NOx with new regulations. I wonder how much of this protest was actually "legitimate".

    • One emergency and you are addicted, once an addict you start making real changes and even consider creating more real emergencies.
    • by murdocj ( 543661 )

      So instead, do nothing. Don't worry about people getting slaughtered. After all, France is a big country, it can afford to have a few hundred people murdered every once in a while.

      Does that sound better?

  • Yes/No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27, 2015 @11:46PM (#51016215)
    //// Football matches: "Yes: Life must go on" ///// Climate change protests: "No - It's a security risk"
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      Considering the security measures required to get into a stadium in france vs a group of protesters and someone wandering up with a suicide vest strapped to them. Well, there does appear to be a security risk to general people. Those protests would be a splody-dopes dream.

      • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

        Considering the security measures required to get into a stadium in france vs a group of protesters and someone wandering up with a suicide vest strapped to them. Well, there does appear to be a security risk to general people. Those protests would be a splody-dopes dream.

        Before Fox would air a new episode of 24, would you put a new set of vinyl sheets on your mattress in preparation for a night of terrified bedwetting?

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          Before Fox would air a new episode of 24, would you put a new set of vinyl sheets on your mattress in preparation for a night of terrified bedwetting?

          Do you turn around and ignore reasonable assessments of threats, and then bury your head in the sand when there is a credible possibility? After all, that's what led to the cancellation of a soccer game in Germany last week. One can't forget about what happened in Brussels last week either.

          It's fun to play 'what if' so let's do that. Let's say the government doesn't use emergency powers to block the protests. And a couple of weeks after a series of terrorist attacks, terrorists use the opportunity to sp

      • Why don't they allow the protesters but set up security measures?

    • by Evtim ( 1022085 )

      Yhea, but football matches make money!

    • Football match;
      One venue;
      Few, if any, in masks
      Security checks including searches expected

      Protests;
      Occur all over town
      Many protesters with masks and backpacks.
      Security checks seen ass oppressive and will be fought against.

      See the difference?

    • Banning a climate change protest would have little to no impact on the general populace.
      Banning a football match would lead to the unravelling of modern civilisation as we know it.

      In both cases life did go on. :-)

    • Stadium matches have their own security procedures and personnel. The French police are already spread thin with the current level of alert, and from the looks of it on TV they've even brought in military personnel to help augment the patrols. They simply do not want to have to devote additional resources to provide security for a protest, even if it was already scheduled and organized.

      Atypical security personnel armed and trained to deal with militants tend not to mix well with an angry mob of protest [wikipedia.org]
  • Eco-terrorists threatened to blow up a cloud !

    could be a humor or spell check failure...

  • I think they're just trying to stop protests in general at the moment. Protests create unrest and anger, and I'm guessing the government's deemed the situation unstable enough that they want to minimize any potential chance of more violence.

    That being said though, I don't agree with that choice at all. I don't think climate change would destabilize the country further, and there's a great risk of abuse with it.

    • So you get this massive protest with thousands of people in one area. What happens when bombs and gunshots start going off? I don't mean the protesters would get violent, but what about ISIS terrorism taking advantage of the crowd and chaos.

      Perhaps this is the government realizing that it cannot provide security for both dignitaries and protesters at this time.

  • Oh really? Color me not surprised.
  • ...that's not suspicious at all. No hidden agenda there, no sir-ee-bob...

    • by drnb ( 2434720 )

      ...that's not suspicious at all. No hidden agenda there, no sir-ee-bob...

      Right, because the French gov't wants to suppress opinions that the French gov't agrees with? That climate change is real and its an important issue that must be dealt with?

      • One really has to be messed up to deny climate change is upon us. I just saw a talking head from the right wing whining about the killings in Paris and why preventing that sort of thing was more important than efforts to prevent climate change disasters. She was completely out of touch with reality and simply could not get the fact that many places around the world are suffering large-scale horrors already. The fact that the loss of entire nations might be a bit more important than the loss of 150
  • A protest needs to be organized to protest the crackdown against protests.

  • by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Saturday November 28, 2015 @12:53AM (#51016343)

    French people seems to have reacted quite well to the killings, but french political leaders seems to be drowning in panic. They even suspended France's application of European Convention on Human Rights [coe.int]. From this link's France section:

    Some of [the measures], prescribed by the decrees of 14 November 2015 and 18 November 2015 and by the Law of 20 November 2015, may involve a derogation from the obligations under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

    • You will notice that this is generally the case with such events. The population is usually not fazed at all and continues their life with politicians going apeshit.

  • I'm living in Belgium so I can give a bit of context. Commercial street markets are routine here; they happen every week, and often aren't that well attended especially in winter. The climate protests in Paris were/are going to be massive, with many people traveling internationally to take part.
  • Scenario 1; Ban protesting and be labelled a oppressive government.
    Scenario 2; Do not ban protests and a terrorist attack occurs during the protest. The Government is blamed for the attack as they allowed the protest.

    In a large protest it is impossible to differentiate between lawful protesters in masks and terrorists getting ready to attack.

    • by feufeu ( 1109929 )

      Scenario 3: Leave the traditional world where under let's-all-agree-not-to-think-further-than-the-length-of-a-news-headline reasoning there are only scenarios 1 and 2 and go like:

      Do not ban protests und tell everyone that in deciding this there is a risk but in our opinion it's worth it. Say: "Be aware of this if you take part in the protest and we encourage you to use your freedom to do so but you may want to leave the kids at home". A terrorist attack might occur, yes.

  • Are they arresting people who are pointing out that not enough is being done, or those who are worried about the bottome lines of the big polluters?

  • Are you really going to compare a farmer's market to protesters?

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