Climate activists get creative

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Activists are already staging creative demonstrations at the climate change summit in Copenhagen. Later today, The World's Marina Giovannelli looks at how different protest groups are vying for a spot on the international stage, and whether or not their efforts will sway the outcome of the negotiations.

MARCO WERMAN: They're already beating the drums and shouting the slogans in Copenhagen. Demonstrators are pressing for strong action at the international climate change summit. The World's Marina Giovannelli introduces us to some of the activists.

MARINA GIOVANNELLI: Gary Anderson is a member of the Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home.

GARY ANDERSON: The institute is myself, my partner, and our three children, Neal, age 9, Gabriel, age 7, and Sid age 2.

GIOVANNELLI: In a few days, the Anderson family will board a train to Copenhagen to perform on the street. Gary Anderson plans to speak though a megaphone while standing on a small platform.

ANDERSON: We employ the baby steps our two year old uses to visit the toilet on and we make our political speeches from this particular baby step.

GIOVANNELLI: Anderson's family will be joining a multitude of activists and other interested parties. Many have already premiered their acts. One of them is Mohamad Shinaz who's from the Maldives. He stood in a tank of dirty water, which symbolized rising sea levels.

MOHAMAD SHINAZ: And today when I'm in this tank, I feel the same thing. It's really horrible. I think everybody should work to save the world.

GIOVANNELLI: All these activists know that for the next two weeks the eyes and cameras of the world will be on Copenhagen. But will the activism influence the climate talks? Dana Fisher at Columbia University says that for the most part, the activists' street theatre is all about getting attention.

DANA FISHER: They will certainly be successful at that. If the purpose is to sway the negotiations there is not a lot of support for argument that it will be successful.

GIOVANNELLI: The protestors may not influence the negotiations, but Copenhagen is a big stage and protestors plan to use it. Fisher says all that attention could backfire.

FISHER: They may lose sympathy, particularly if you see protestors doing bad things, it's never really good for the general public's sympathy.

GIOVANNELLI: But some groups aren't interested in that. One is Climate Justice Action, an international coalition of environmental groups. Chris Kitchen is with the coalition. He says it's planning a mass civil action next week, aimed at temporarily halting talks, at a climactic point.

CHRIS KITCHEN: So the action will involve lots of people coming from the outside and approaching the conference area, and we've said we are going to get into the UN area itself, and the way we are describing this is a confrontational, non-violent, civil disobedience action.

GIOVANNELLI: Of course things don't always stay non-violent, as protestors of big international meetings in Seattle, London, and Genoa can attest to. But many people n Copenhagen will be simply spending their time on the world stage playing their cameos in a peaceful way. That'll certainly be the case with Gary Anderson. There's nothing violent about how Anderson, his partner and their three kids, will be delivering their message.

ANDERSON: I think that at the heart of all of this is that we recognize as a family our role in climate injustice and we feel that that's where we need to focus. Maybe it's time for us to be misbehaving; maybe it's time for us to be naughty as a family.

GIOVANNELLI: Not violent, but maybe a little deviant. For The World, I'm Marina Giovannelli.