First Day in Paris

Written by Sarah Huang

The team arrived in Paris this morning after a sleepless night. We might have lost 6 hours with the time change, but after a quick nap, we were up and running! Around 1:00 pm today, we had our first official team meeting here in Paris to discuss logistics, safety, event planning, and gear check. Fernando and Laura will be representing our team at the formal delegate meetings during the next two weeks. The news in Paris for today and tomorrow are about the free transit in the city due to the high traffic of Heads of State coming into Paris. President Barack Obama also arrived in Paris today. This is an interesting point of note as most negotiations have formal delegate meetings at the end of the conference period, rather than fronting them at the beginning. We are interested to see how this change in schedule will impact the events of COP21. Picture

After our team meeting we headed into the neighborhood to find a place to eat lunch, get some groceries and purchase our tickets for public transportation. We had lunch at a brasserie in the Saint Denis area and enjoyed walking outside on this windy day. Grocery shopping was another adventure at Carrafore, which is similar to a Target or Walmart. During our quick walking adventures we found some visuals of COP21 on the subway and billboards. We also were following the demonstrations happening in Paris and around the world today on Twitter and Snapchat. There were many climate marches happening in major cities throughout the world (Tweet from Rome March), the display of shoes in Paris in response to the ban on marches, and the police clashes in Paris with anti-capitalist protesters.Picture

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While it is just Day 1 for us here in Paris, we must remember that the voices heard and the marches that happened are in response to a long history of seeking justice, peace, and power amidst many actors. Today we saw this play out through the demonstration of the right to representation and participation in public spaces.
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