Green bombers threat no city ploy

By Time of article published Dec 6, 2011

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Colleen Dardagan

GREEN bombers – volunteers wearing green eThekwini volunteer T-shirts and caps – were allegedly “paid by the city” to disrupt an otherwise peaceful climate change rally in Durban at the weekend.

Updating reporters yesterday on the arrest of seven Greenpeace International activists who were trying to occupy the World Business Council on Sustainable Development conference, Ferrial Adam, Africa’s Greenpeace head, said that the “green bombers” had admitted to being paid to disrupt the rally.

“When we questioned them on why they were at the march and who they were representing, they said they were paid by the city to be at the march and to be disruptive,” she said.

Clashes

Adam said the situation at the start of the march “got ugly” and many participants felt threatened. “But the clashes were well controlled by the marshals and all the organisations represented at the rally worked together to make sure the march was able to proceed peacefully.”

ANC Youth League members employed as volunteers by the city clashed with the newly established political movement the Democratic Left Front, which carried posters saying “Ten more years of Zuma”, the Sunday Tribune reported.

The march was estimated to have drawn more than 5 000 people.

City manager Michael Sutcliffe confirmed that the group was employed as volunteers during the climate change conference and had asked to be allowed to attend the rally.

“It was a public march; anyone could be there. They wanted to go to the rally and we said ‘yes’. If we had wanted to infiltrate the marchers, we would have told them to take off their uniforms.”

Jomo Sibiya a KwaZulu-Natal ANC Youth League official, said the party would never pay anyone to disrupt or participate in a march. “We were employed as volunteers because we are activists and we want to advance the cause… of COP17.”

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