Copenhagen police detain 68 climate activists

COPENHAGEN Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:53am EST

1 of 3. Demonstrators attend a protest march in central Copenhagen December 11, 2009. Copenhagen is the host city for the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009, which lasts from December 7 until December 18.

Credit: Reuters/Christian Charisius

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COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Police in the Danish capital said they had detained 68 people at street demonstrations during the U.N. climate conference on Friday.

Activist groups had urged their followers to disrupt business and meetings at 15 corporations and industry lobby groups, accusing them of being "climate criminals."

But a police spokesman said the activists, numbering several hundred, did not enter the premises of the companies and business organizations they had marked on a map of the city to lay out the day's actions to participants.

Police, some wearing riot helmets, followed activists as they wound through the narrow streets of central Copenhagen to the sound of drums, whistles and horns and chants of "Our climate - Not your business."

The procession then split up, with activists fanning out to several locations, including the venue of a business conference.

Copenhagen police spokesman Lars Borg said the activists were detained "for making trouble in town. "Minor scuffles occurred, Borg said, but no injuries had been reported.

He added the protesters did not reach the Bella Center conference facility on the outskirts of the city where about 190 governments are negotiating a new global climate agreement.

A photocopied map distributed to activists declared: "The goal of the day's action is to disrupt the corporations involved in the (climate conference) process, as well as other corporate climate criminals."

Friday's street action was a foretaste of a demonstration scheduled for Saturday which non-governmental organizations have said they expect to draw tens of thousands of demonstrators.

(Reporting by John Acher; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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