Activists protest outside climate change negotiation room in Durban

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As the United Nations climate change conference is moving towards an end, people protested in the halls of the conference centre on Friday demanding that nations not sign a "death sentence" in Durban.

The march filled the hall outside of the main negotiating room just as the afternoon round of talks were scheduled to begin. Standing side-by-side with delegates from some of the world's most vulnerable countries, civil society representatives sang traditional South African freedom songs and chanted slogans like"Listen to the People, Not the Polluters."

"We are all the people of Africa. We are all people of the islands," Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo said.

Naidoo appealed directly to the United States to step out of the way of progress.

"President Obama, do not listen to the CEOs of fossil fuel companies. Listen to the people," chanted protestors.

According to a statement issued on Friday by, a civic organization, in the last 48 hours, over 700,000 people have signed petitions calling on major emitters to stand with the nations of Africa and resist any attempts to delay climate action until 2020. called on that "stand with Africa and face down the USA and other countries looking to wreck the climate talks and our planet".

"The world is standing in solidarity with those here in Durban who is taking action," said Avaaz senior campaigner Iain Keith in a statement. "The climate talks have just a few hours to go, and the future of Africa and the planet hangs in the balance. History will judge these negotiators based on the decisions they make tonight," he added.

As of 3:30 p.m. Durban time, protesters still filled a hallway of the conference center, singing, chanting, and listening to speeches from activists and representatives from around the world.

"Any agreement to delay real climate action until 2020 would be a death sentence for millions of people in Africa and around the world," said Landry Ninteretse of the international climate campaign "We are tired of waiting for progress," she added.

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