DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Climate activists staged a protest at COP28 today calling for a ceasefire in Palestine as Israeli bombardments of Gaza resumed following the expiration of the truce. More than 400 air and ground attacks were launched in the Gaza Strip on the third day of the climate talks. At least 180 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded.
Wearing white and keffiyehs, the checkered scarf that has become a badge of Palestinian identity and resistance, the activists called for a ceasefire and for the end of decades of settler colonialism and apartheid.
Lidy Nacpil, convener of COP28 Coalition and Global Campaign to Demand Justice
“We condemn the continued killing and destruction in Gaza. It is clear that we cannot let this catastrophe continue. We have to speak up in support of Palestinians who are suffering from disaster upon disaster due to the longstanding occupation and the climate crisis. We call for a ceasefire, the lifting of the blockade and an end to the occupation of Palestine. The COP28 coalition stands in solidarity with all people and communities in their struggle for climate justice and against oppression, exploitation, racism, apartheid and colonialism.”
Luke Espiritu, labor leader from the Philippines and member of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD):
“There is no climate justice without human rights. We do not simply hug trees or cry ‘ protect the dolphins and sea turtles’. If preserving other life forms is linked to our survival as a species then clearly we see that keeping within the 1.5 degrees Celsius to save humanity becomes hollow if we allow the slaughter and degradation of human life not by extreme weather events but through bullets and bombs.”
Rania Harrara, MENA Feminist Taskforce
“There can be no peace without justice! There can be no climate justice without human rights!
We must unite across multiple realities to call for an end to colonialism, violence and ethnic cleansing. We need leadership that is courageous and accountable across the board. We call on the global community, particularly governments and organizations in the Global North, as regions where power is concentrated to heed to the leadership of human rights-centered action in taking forward calls for long lasting peace in the region and throughout the world.”
“For over 500 years, colonialism dehumanized millions of peoples in the Global South as expendable and less worthy than others to justify colonialism and domination by powerful nations in the Global North. Today that same logic is playing out in Palestine as trapped, besieged and occupied people face crimes against humanity, in which those same rich nations of the West are complicit. In the darkest hour for humanity, it is up to the peoples of the world to call not only for a ceasefire, but also for the end of decades of settler colonialism and apartheid. The climate justice movement echoes the call being made by social movements everywhere- we are all Palestinians.”