Greenpeace members jailed in Denmark for twenty-two days for bursting official dinner

By Irene Gimeno 

Four Greenpeace members, including the president of the organization in Spain, were arrested in Copenhagen on the 17th of December 2009 to remain in prison until the 7th of January because the Danish Superior Court decided so after they faked their identities in an official dinner organized by Margarita II of Denmark for the Heads of State of those countries attending the Climate Conference. 

Juan Lopez de Uralde, president of Greenpeace in Spain and Nora Christiansen, from Norway, were walking through the red carpet when the extended a banner which said “politicians talk, leaders act”. They had claimed to be the “Head of State” of Greenpeace and his wife, followed by Christian Schmutz, allegedly their bodyguard. The three of them were arrested ipsofacto whilst a fourth member of the most popular ecologist organization in the world. Joris Thijssen was arrested the next on the grounds of the mind of the action since he was the International Responsible for the Climate Change Campaign. 

The usual procedure of next-day-release arrest in this kind of situations surprised everyone in the organization when Denmark’s Superior Court announced that the activists must stay in prison until the seventh of January of the following year –  a total of twenty-two days of imprisonment – which resulted excessive by both the affected and their families and colleagues, considering that the arrested were deprived of spending Christmas with their loved ones, accused of offences such as “identity supplanting”. 

Greenpeace claimed that during the last twenty years, world leaders have ignored the climate change problem, risking the planet’s welfare; therefore, they decided to intervene in the social act to remark that the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 was the first real opportunity to take a step, says Mario Rodriguez, Greenpeace Spain. He asserts at the Spanish website of the organization that once again politicians failed to their duty of creating “a legally binding treaty to ensure the proper reductions of greenhouse-effect-gases emission to prevent the increase of the Earth temperature by two degrees celsius”, signing instead “The Copenhagen Treaty” which constitutes, according to the ecologist member “a void shell: a hand grenade against the multilateral efforts to stop the climate change“. 

Not only do the activists recently released assure that the incident will not stop them, but that it will in fact increase their fight. Their members back at home, the organization wants to make sure the average citizen know the challenge the planet is facing and that society should respond to that in a practical way. A vital call for the action is been made after the severe punishment the four ecologist received in Denmark.