Smoking Statue Of Liberty In Front Of The US Embassy In Copenhagen
Shortly before noon local time Greenpeace activists drove up in front of the embassy, erected the statue and got the smoke going. After 20 minutes we had to leave in order not to get arrested.
We also handed the Ambassador a letter from Danish 92 group and Jens Galschiøt (see below) and a report from Greenpeace International on the destructive role of the US (+ Canada and Australia) with regard to issues of sustainable development since Rio 1992.
POSTCARD TO GEORGE
In addition to this we also handed him a handwritten postcard (with a picture of statue) holiday greeting addressed to George W Bush with this short satirical text:
We hope that you are enjoying your holiday at the ranch while the rest of the world is meeting in Johannesburg, trying to save the Planet.
The Danish '92 Group
LETTER TO US AMBASSADOR TO DENMARK
Embassy of the United States of America
Dag Hammarskjölds Allé 24
2100 København Ø.
Copenhagen, August 29th, 2002
The environment and development NGOs working for sustainable development through the Danish '92 Group are extremely worried about the position of the USA in connection with the on-going World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. The state of the environment in the world calls for immediate action from both governments, business and civil society. Most of all we need the richest, most powerful and most polluting country of all, the USA, to take leadership and show responsibility.
By not prioritizing the WSSD, President George W. Bush is effectively saying to the world that the United States is not prepared to seriously engage in solving the global environmental crisis. This after the USA has weakened every multilateral environmental agreement possible. An overview of the destructive role of the USA since the Rio Summit in 1992 can be found in the enclosed briefing from Greenpeace International.
Coinciding with the official opening of the World Summit of Sustainable Development in Johannesburg last Monday, artist Jens Galschiøt and the 92 Group erected a 28 foot replica of the Statue of Liberty with smoke coming out of her torch on Kongens Nytorv, Copenhagen.
The artist behind the happening said in a press statement that: "The smoking statue symbolizes the selfish 'Freedom To Pollute' attitude that the rich countries, with the USA in the lead, are looking to manifest at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg. 'The American way of life is not up for negotiation' - not even when life itself for people and other species is at stake. This is the core of the American contribution to global sustainable development. USA has worked hard to weaken the plan of action throughout the preparatory process of the Summit and is now showing its final contempt for the international community by not sending its highest representative to the negotiations. This is not good enough. This is not sustainable."
Today Greenpeace activists take the smoking statue for a tour past your embassy on behalf of Jens Galschiøt and the Danish 92 Group, and we hope that it will inspire your government to rethinking its role in fostering sustainable development in the world. The statue will visit other places during the WSSD.
We also kindly ask you to send on the enclosed holiday greeting postcard to President Bush.
Berit Asmussen og Dan Hindsgaul
(On behalf of Jens Galschiøt and the 92 Group)