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Tense weather

Tense weather

With musical bands and giant flowers, Hollywood celebrities, politicians, activists and students participated in Manhattan in the great "People's March for Climate", which became the largest in history according to the organizers.

Some 310,000 people took to the streets in New York, according to figures released by the site www.peoplesclimate.org, which brought together the 1,572 organizations that called the protest. When contacted by AFP, the police did not provide figures.

In total there were 2,808 events in 166 countries, with a figure of 580,000 protesters, including those in New York, always according to the organizers.

The protests took place two days before the climate summit in that city called by the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Ban Ki-moon, and which will be attended by more than 120 heads of state.

- Di Caprio, star in New York -

In New York, a Leonardo di Caprio with a long beard, sunglasses and a beret was the star of the protest in Manhattan, which was also attended by former US Vice President Al Gore, Ban Ki-moon and the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio.

Ban told reporters that he was "overwhelmed by the strong power, energy and voice of the people. I hope this voice will be truly considered by the leaders when they meet on September 23" during the climate summit.

"There is no plan B because we do not have planet B. We have to work and take action," he warned.

Headed by a banner that reads "People's Climate March" and another that says "Frontline of Crisis and Vanguard of Change," the mobilization started from Central Park toward the Hudson River in western Manhattan.

"I am participating in the march because I want to build a brighter future for my family," said Stanley Sturgill, a 69-year-old retired miner from Kentucky (central USA), with lung problems after spending more than 40 years extracting coal.

- From Australia to France and Brazil -

Tens of thousands of people paraded through the streets of London, attended by victims of the floods in England last winter and British actress Emma Thompson, who returned from an expedition in the Arctic with Greenpeace to denounce the melting of glaciers.

In a particularly familiar atmosphere, about 5,000 people demonstrated in Paris, according to the police. "Before, we could say that we didn't know. Now, we know that (climate) change started," said Nicolas Hulot, the French president's special envoy for the protection of the planet.

In Madrid, hundreds of protesters gathered before the Ministry of the Environment with banners with the message "There is no planet B", "Change your life, not your climate" or "Our climate is your decision."

In Cairns, Australia, where G20 finance ministers were meeting, more than a hundred people wearing green paper hearts around their necks.

Hundreds of others also mobilized in Sydney and New Delhi, where some 300 protesters carried banners with messages such as "I want to save the forests" and "Coal kills", while chanting slogans and dancing to the rhythm of drums.

In Bogotá, an estimated 5,000 people participated, several of them on bicycles and others playing musical instruments made with recycled materials.

Meanwhile, in Rio de Janeiro, one of the organizers, Michael Mohallem, told the newspaper O Globo that more than 4,000 people attended the march "under heavy rain" on Ipanema beach. This figure is quite different from the 300 protesters reported by the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper, citing the Military Police.

The UN wants to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times.

But many scientists say that, given the levels of greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures will have increased by the end of the 21st century by more than four degrees compared to that time.

The summit at the UN, which will take place a day before the opening of its General Assembly, seeks to prepare for next year's negotiations in Paris, where an international agreement is expected to come into force in 2020.

Montevideo Portal

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