Several thousand climate activists from across Europe and many from farther afield gathered peacefully near the Arc de Triomphe on Saturday to protest the outcome of the COP 21 climate conference about 12 miles away. Even as the delegates at the official conference center reached a landmark accord and applauded their achievement, the crowds on the street made clear their belief that it would take much more than the measures in the deal to halt global climate change. “We don’t like the COP 21,” said Joseph Purugganan, who came from the Philippines to participate in the demonstration with other activists from a coalition called Focus on the Global South. “The message here is that the real solution will come from the people,” he said. “After 20 years of COPs, look at where we are.”
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.