Anger rises at Rio Earth summit, as raucous demo focuses on Future We Want text that ‘moves us forward by inches’
Protest erupted in the Rio+20 conference centre on Thursday as civil rights groups carried out a “ritual rip-up” of a negotiating text that they condemn as a betrayal of future generations.
Climate campaigner and founder of 350.org Bill McKibben joined youth delegates, indigenous groups and environmental NGOs in the raucous demonstration, which included speeches and songs in the walkway outside the plenary pavilion.
“We were promised leaps and bounds but this agreement barely moves us forward by inches,” shouted Cam Fenton, a Canadian in the Major Group of Children and Youth, as protesters ripped up a giant mock text that they called “The Future We Bought”.
“World leaders have delivered something that fails to move the world forward from the first Rio summit, showing up with empty promises at Rio+20,” said Miariana Calderon, a young woman from California. “This text is a polluters’ plan, and unless people start listening to the people, history will remember it as a failure for the people and the planet.”
A short distance away, the Earth summit was underway, but negotiations on the outcome text – the Future We Want – were finished before the arrival on Wednesday of more than 150 world leaders and ministers.