Activist Naomi Klein attacks the 'capitalisation of hope'

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"Leave the oil in the soil, leave the coal in the hole and leave the tar sand in the land," said Nnimmo Bassy, Friends of the Earth International chief, in his message at the opening of the People's Summit, Klimaforum in Copenhagen last night.

Up to 50,000 protesters are expected to attend the event, where last night author and anti-globalisation author Naomi Klein declared: "This is the last chance to save the world. Our role is to be the truth-teller and the lie detectors. We're here to recognise the difference between a deal and success."

Ms Klein described Klimaforum as a coming-of-age conference for anti-corporate protesters but warned: "The Bella Centre is the biggest case of disaster capitalism yet. The deal we really need is not even on the table."

She said a positive outcome would include deep emissions cuts, repayment of climate debt, and the adoption of green technologies.

Describing Hopenhagen, the concert in which the Backstreet Boys were billed to play yesterday evening before dropping out, as green washing, she said the event was a branding extravaganza. "The globe has a Siemens logo on the bottom and the whole event is sponsored by Coke. That is a capitalisation of hope."

Speeches this evening served to gather the thoughts of those whose attention might have wandered in the run up an event that has already seemed to last forever. Klein squeezed in an apology for flying to Copenhagen instead of swimming but reminded activists of why they had taken the long journey here, even if some took longer ones than others.

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