Tens of thousands of activists march in Copenhagen; 968 held | world | Hindustan Times
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Tens of thousands of activists march in Copenhagen; 968 held

world Updated: Dec 13, 2009 12:00 IST

Hindustan Times
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As the 12-day climate meet here reached its half-way mark, tens of thousands of activists, including Indian actor Rahul Bose, took to the streets demanding a strong treaty to tackle global warming, a rally that also saw sporadic violence and detention of 968 people.

Carrying placards reading 'Climate Justice Now,' 'Change the Politics,' and 'We're not planet B,' thousands of people walked towards the Bella Centre, where the UN climate change conference is being held, even as thousands others in cities around the world marched on the Global Action Day on Saturday.

The four-hour rally was mostly held in a festive atmosphere, but riot police detained 968 activists after bottles were thrown and windows smashed, reports said.

Danish police estimate that some 30,000 people joined the march while organisers put the number at 100,000.

"Police rounded up protesters in a pre-planned manoeuvre," Simon Sheikh of Australian social and political network 'Get Up' told BBC. "It was unprovoked. They rounded up a group, including women and children, and pushed them into a store, before splitting them into groups and handcuffing them."

However, a police spokesman was quoted as saying that just four or five out of 968 arrested would be charged and asked to appear in court. He said most of those arrested had been part of an organised group which had been throwing fireworks and stones.

Bollywood actor and OXFAM goodwill ambassador Rahul Bose flew down from India to join the protest and marched towards the venue of the UN climate meeting.