Chicago Indymedia :
Chicago Indymedia

News :: [none]

Powell Heckled, Booed At Earth Summit

An annoyed Colin Powell "soldiers on" with speech defending US government enviornmental policies amid shouts against Bush and himself. Jeers began as Powell lectured African leaders.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Sept. 4) - Repeatedly interrupted by jeers and protests, Secretary of State Colin Powell defended the United States' environmental record and its efforts to help the poor in the developing world at the World Summit's closing day Wednesday.

''The U.S. is taking action to meet environmental challenges, including global climate change,'' Powell told delegates at the summit.

The United States had been strongly criticized by leaders and activists for resisting efforts to curb global warming, and for President Bush's decision last year to reject the Kyoto Protocol, which many countries view as crucial for reversing a global warming trend blamed for cataclysmic storms, floods and droughts.

The United States has said it was taking many other actions to fight global warming, but the international agreement's strictures were inappropriate and too costly for the U.S. economy.

Washington also had been hammered for resisting binding targets to increase the use of renewable energy sources, and for Bush's decision not to attend the summit.

As Powell spoke, delegates from non-governmental groups in the audience repeatedly interrupted him, shouting ''Shame on Bush.'' Two people held up a banner reading, ''Betrayed by governments.'' At least two people were removed by security.

Powell looked annoyed, answering back ''I have now heard you,'' at one point, then soldiering ahead with his speech.

South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who was chairing the session, yelled at the hecklers to stop and called the outbursts ''totally unacceptable.''

The boos and jeers began when Powell criticized the government of Zimbabwe for exacerbating the food crisis in that country and pushing ''millions of people to the brink of starvation.''

He also criticized Zambia, which is also facing a hunger crisis, for rejecting genetically engineered corn that Americans eat every day.

Copyright 2002 The Associated Press.



Account Login

Media Centers


This site made manifest by dadaIMC software