Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Media Ignore Communist Presence at Copenhagen

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Communist influenceAmong the demonstrations accompanying the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen was the Saturday, December 12 "Global Day of Action" at which protestors from 108 countries marched four miles through the city's streets to demand "climate justice." Brent Baker with the Media Research Center pointed out in his BiasAlert article, "Network journalists who were quick to see racists, haters and extremists amongst the 'tea party' protesters were oblivious... to communists" participating in the march.

Throughout Saturday's demonstration, large red flags bearing the Soviet Union's hammer and sickle waved above the heads of marchers representing the Danish Kommunistisk Parti. The communists also carried banners declaring, "Socialism: A Cohesive and Viable Alternative." Baker quotes broadcasts from NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News touting Saturday's march as a peaceful demonstration for "real change." NBC reporter Anne Thompson gushed, "An extraordinary sight in front of Denmark's parliament building: 35,000 protestors filling the square, stepping off on a slow march with an urgent plea: Save the planet... The marchers have a simple message for the delegates. Stop talking and start acting."

Yet Baker found only two online posts that mentioned communist participation in the event:

     • A Financial Times article noted, "The protesters were a mix of environmental campaigners, church groups and ordinary Danes, many with children, as well as anarchists and communists"; and

     • A report from Ethan Stewart with the Santa Barbara Independent stated, "From Communist groups and Greenpeace to radical vegetarians and a pro-Iranian crew, there were not many activist sub groups without representation in the march."

Though excited about the event, Stewart admitted, "Surveying the crowd just as the march got underway, I promised myself I would have an escape route planned at all times for the rest of this conference no matter where I was." He also reported that police made 900 arrests before the demonstration ended with a candlelight vigil at which frozen participants huddled around bonfires outside Copenhagen's Bella Center where negotiators have until December 18 to decide what to do about Earth's rising temperatures. The Financial Times reported that protest leaders at the vigil called for the need to "kill capitalism" and to donate "$200 billion a year in new money to help the poorest countries tackle climate change."

Network broadcasts also failed to deliver the message communists brought with them to the demonstration. The party's website says its members joined the march "in protest against the rich countries' irresponsibility and passivity toward problems facing our planet," pointing a particular finger of blame at the United States. "The United States and its allies come to Copenhagen to strengthen their own imperialist ambitions," writes party member Julie Malling. "Let us stand together for our common requirements and isolate the U.S. and the industrialized countries who have come to Copenhagen to ensure the survival of capitalism." Malling calls for employing civil disobedience in the "climate battle," claiming activists have successfully shut down coal-based power plants in the past.

Attendance estimates in the above-quoted media reports range from 30,000 to 45,000, with organizers claiming more than 100,000. This video shows footage from Saturday's march, with a brief glimpse of Communist party demonstrators about three minutes in.


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