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COP 17: Protesters "occupy" Durban climate talks

Protesters commandeer a hall inside the Durban conference center where UN climate change negotiations known as COP 17 are taking place, on the last official day of talks.

Occupy cop 17 12 09 2011Enlarge
Protesters gather in a hall inside the Durban, South Africa conference center where the final day of UN climate change negotiations, known as COP 17, are being held, on December 9, 2011. (Erin Conway-Smith/GlobalPost)

DURBAN, South Africa — Protesters crowded a hall inside the Durban conference center where UN climate talks are being held Friday, vowing to "occupy COP" and disrupt the negotiations on their final official day.

Several dozen youth delegates and environmental activists, along with country representatives from small island nations, sang the traditional South African miners' song "Shosholoza" and waved signs saying that any delay in action on climate change would mean death in Africa.

The protesters were removed peacefully by security after about two hours, and had their accreditation badges for the conference, known as COP 17, revoked. Ten Greenpeace activists, including executive director Kumi Naidoo, are among those evicted and banned.

An all-night #occupycop17 vigil is scheduled for later in the day.

More from GlobalPost: COP 17: South Africa suggests extending talks

More than 190 countries have been negotiating on what will replace the Kyoto Protocol when its carbon-emission limits expire at the end of December 2012.

Other talks have focused on the creation of the Green Climate Fund, as a way for developed countries to help poor countries hardest hit by climate change but least responsible for it.

But climate change negotiations have stalled, with major divisions between the United States, China and India, and while the two-week conference is supposed to end Friday, host South Africa has suggested extending it by an extra day.

More from GlobalPost: COP 17: Canada is the bad guy at climate change talks

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/south-africa/111209/cop-17-africa-protests-occupy-cop-17-durban