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Environmental Activists Demand Human Rights Focus at COP28

Over 200 environmental activists demonstrated at COP28 in Dubai, demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

At COP28 in Dubai, over 200 environmental activists staged a powerful demonstration demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. 

Clad in keffiyehs and brandishing watermelon banners, their voices echoed a resounding call for justice and humanity amidst the tragic toll of lives lost.

A Solemn Protest:

Within the UN-controlled Blue Zone, the protesters commenced their demonstration by solemnly reciting the names of the individuals tragically killed in Gaza due to Israeli bombings. 

Gina Cortes, a climate activist and member of COP28 Coalition, emotionally led the protest, with participants visibly moved to tears.

A young female environmentalist bravely called out the names of victims, her voice trembling as she recounted the heartbreaking loss of life, from infants to the elderly. 

Despite the emotional strain, she persevered, honoring those who had lost their lives in the conflict.

Linking Climate Justice to Human Rights:

The demonstration brought attention to the longstanding conflict in the Middle East, emphasizing the inseparability of climate justice and human rights. 

Chants reverberated, underscoring that a just transition to clean energy cannot exist while lives are lost and lands devastated by conflict.

Tariq Luthun, a Palestinian poet and activist, highlighted the urgency of the situation, labeling the ongoing events as genocide. 

The protest speech emphasized prioritizing people’s lives, stressing that climate justice is intertwined with preserving human rights.

Advocating for Humanity and the Environment:

Luke Espiritu, a labor leader and member of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), emphasized that climate advocates stand in solidarity with victims of genocide. 

The statement reaffirmed the connection between climate justice and human rights, stating that the preservation of life, both human and environmental, is intrinsically linked to our survival as a species.

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