By Jenny Jägerhorn
A torchlight demonstration against Barack Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize tomorrow was held this afternoon at the US Embassy in Copenhagen. The demonstration was organized by a number of Danish grassroot organisations.
Around 30 policemen were waiting outside the US Embassy on the opposite side of the street of the demonstrators.
“ We were informed that more than five hundred participants would join the demonstration. If that would have been the case the US embassy would have needed strict protection,” one of the policemen said.
Less than one hundred people showed up to demonstrate.
“ Of course I’m disappointed that so few people showed up. I think people are afraid of participating because of the new Danish law, according to which the police can arrest participants and keep them in prison of up to 60 hours, Larsen said”
Obama not qualified for peace prize
Obama’s decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan and send 30 000 new American troops to the country has invoked protests around the world. The slogan of today’s protest was Yes We Can – Get out of Afghanistan.
“ Obama has promised to “finish the job” in Afghanistan but now the war has expanded to Pakistan. We think it’s unfair, and that he is not qualified to receive the prize tomorrow,” said Troels Riis Larsen, spokesperson of the organisation ‘Stop the terror war’.
“ Obama has also promised to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison but it still hasn’t been fulfilled,” he continued.
The demonstration outside the American embassy was also part of a series of activities and actions connected to the climate conference.
“ Wars are the biggest ruiners of human life and the climate. The military is also the biggest climate criminals due to massive CO2 emissions. We want the wars to end”, said Larsen.
“Obama has also directed billions to the car industry in the United states. This is not a symbol of being a climate friendly country.”
Some of the demonstrators had travelled long distances. Sammi A’llaa, a political activist from Iraq had lost half of his family in war since the beginning of 1991.
“ When Obama came to power we hoped he would face the reality that war has been incredibly destructive for both American soldiers and the Iraqi people. We are suffering heavily from the American occupation. We only hear the promise but nothing concrete has been materialized. ”, said A’llaa.