Only One Planet

25th August 2002

Jo'burg Police Clash with Demonstrators
UK PM attacked for his Green Record

Police Fire Stun Grenades at Protesters

Johannesburg (24th August) - 50 Police in riot gear fired stun grenades at around 700 protesters in front of the University of the Witwatersrand. The protest was apparently a peaceful one, with the demonstrators carrying candles and banners against Globalisation.

A police spokesperson said the demonstration was illegal because the organisers had not applied for permission. The police actions are seen as an indication of the South African Government's intention to clamp down hard on demonstrations.

Earlier in the day, Greenpeace activists climbed the wall of a building at the Koeberg nuclear plant, 20 kilometres to the north of Cape Town. Twelve protesters were arrested and later released, pending their appearance in court on Monday.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's record on key environmental issues has been criticised by his own chief adviser on sustainable development.

Jonathon Porritt, Chair of the UK Government's Sustainable Development Commission, says the government has failed to provide leadership on key issues and accuses Mr Blair and New Labour of "naive adulation" of big business. Mr Porritt said "It's demeaning and dead bad for democracy to see any government so uncritically endorsing corporate perspectives on the global economy, or on the best way of alleviating poverty."

Mr. Blair has also been heavily criticised for not taking the Summit seriously and indulging in "soundbite politics", as he is only flying in on the final day to give a five minute speech.

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This page last updated: 25 August 2002