A pair of shoes in front of the Memorial on Place de la Republique, Paris, France on November 30, 2015, the day after clashes between demonstrators and French riot police ahead of the COP21 World Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris.(Photo: EPA)
Thousands of shoes were on display in the Place de la Republique as part of a silent protest Sunday morning in Paris.
Climate change marches were called off after the terror attacks that killed 129 in the French capital city weeks prior. Instead lines of shoes were placed symbolically for the cause.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said earlier that the government hoped “to avoid any extra risk”, the Associated Press reported. The rallies—scheduled for Nov. 29 and Dec. 12—were expected to draw 200,000 or more people.
A sea of shoes in Place de la Republique in Paris: protests are banned here so you have to imagine them #COP21pic.twitter.com/AetuepjzAt
— David Shukman (@davidshukmanbbc) November 29, 2015
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Pope Francis donated their shoes to stand in solidarity with the people of Paris, according to the United Nations.
Ban Ki-moon donated his shoes to stand in solidarity w/ people of Paris unable to join a #climatemarch today. #COP21pic.twitter.com/38JGGTqvOj
— United Nations (@UN) November 29, 2015
“As the world gathers in Paris to stand up for climate action, let us also stand in the shoes of all victims of terrorism, war and persecution […] and respond with compassion,” Ki-moon said.
In Paris and throughout France, thousands of police tightened border checks and enforced emergency security legislation that allows President François Hollande to ban public demonstrations and place many people, including climate activists, under house arrest.
The United Nations conference, which started Nov. 30 and is scheduled to conclude on Dec. 11, aims to reach an accord for reducing man-made greenhouses gases that cause global warming.
The United Nations wants the conference called COP21 to produce a legally binding accord that ensures that the Earth’s temperature does not increase above 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial levels.
Contributing: Kim Hjelmgaard
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