Breaking news from European Quarter in Brussels: Our Climate, Not Your Business!
This morning around 9:00am dozens of costumed activists have blocked all access to the Charlemagne Building in Brussels, next to the Commission’s HQ, where Business Europe, the EU lobby of bosses and industrialists, was supposed to hold a conference on Copenhagen and climate change and hear Barroso self-congratuate himself on green capitalism.
Belgian activists retort: Our Climate Ain’t None of Your Business!!
follow updates on twitter @actforclimate
For 1,5 hrs, hundreds of corporate lobbyists wishing to attend the annual BusinessEurope conference could not enter the Charlemagne building this morning.
Climate action group Climate Alarm!, consisting of activists from Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany, blocked the revolving doors with people and other doors with chains. For 1,5 hrs there was music and slogans inside: ALERTA! OUR CLIMATE NOT YOUR BUSINESS! CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW!
The blockade only fell after one of the chains was cut, but even then it took a long time for the police to give the access free to participants. There was a lot of media.
The police first arrested a man, who had nothing to do with the action. In the end, 25 activists have been arrested.
BusinessEurope is the biggest industry lobby group in Brussels and unites all (most polluting) sectors. Todays’ conference is titled: “Between economic and climate crisis – Can Copenhagen show a way out?”. Corporate sponsors of this conference include Shell, Arcelor Mittal, BASF and Daimler, who are all known for their anti-climate lobbying.
The police used excessive violence by spraying pepper spray into the revolving doors in which people had voluntarily trapped themselves. After that they had to leave. The police did this after they had already cut the chains of one door.
More news and pictures will follow soon.
Brussels, 28 October 2009 – Press release for immediate release
BusinessEurope conference disrupted by climate activists
Alarm: Our Climate not Your Business!
Copenhagen will not show a way out of the climate crisis.
Where: Charlemagne building, Rue de la Loi 170, Brussels
Starting time: 08.45
Today, climate action group Climate Alarm! is disrupting the annual conference of BusinessEurope taking place in the European Commission’s Charlemagne building in Brussels.  While the conference agenda looks at the Copenhagen climate talks and their potential impact on business, the message of Climate Alarm! is: “Corporate lobbyists have no role to play in deciding on how to deal with the climate crisis.”
“Corporations represented by BusinessEurope like Shell, Arcelor Mittal, and Daimler all lobby hard to obstruct strong action on climate change. At the same time they have made windfall profits from a failing carbon market and benefit from false and destructive solutions like nuclear power and agrofuels” says Climate Alarm! spokesperson Anna Martin.  “By hosting this BusinessEurope event, the European Commission is endorsing the same corporations which have brought us to the brink of climatic disaster”. 
The Climate Alarm! action – not authorised by the Brussels police – makes the message be heard and seen loud and clear both inside and outside the Charlemagne building. Banners say “Our Climate – Not Your Business” and “Climate Justice Now!”, alarm bells fill the air and flyers are handed out to passers-by and conference participants. The action starts at 9am.
Climate Alarm! warns that the Copenhagen proposals as they stand (more carbon markets, more carbon offsetting, not enough reductions) offer no way out of the climate crisis, nor do they address the huge social and ecological debt owed by these industries to the countries of the Global South.
For more information call:
0032 (0)489-198009 (English)
0032 (0)489-198010 (French)