Shoes stand in silent protest at Paris climate conference

A long-planned climate march in Paris ahead of this week's UN conference was cancelled due to security fears, but thousands of activists and protesters ignored the ban Sunday, leading to violent clashes with French police.

More than 20,000 pairs of shoes laid out in the Place de la République as part of symbolic rally

A banner which reads 'Global Climate March' is displayed in front of pairs of shoes symbolically placed on the Place de la République on Sunday. Thousands of activists took to the streets of Paris ahead of climate summit, despite a ban on public demonstrations following the Nov. 13 attacks. (Eric Gaillard/Reuters )

Protesters place hundreds of pairs of shoes at Place de la République

Parisians dropped off their footwear in the Place de la République as part of a symbolic and peaceful rally called by the NGO Avaaz.

The Place de la Republique is covered with hundreds of pairs of shoes ahead of the UN climate summit in Paris, Nov. 29. (Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty )
A man walks among hundreds of pairs of shoes at Place de la République. (Laurent Cipriani/Associated Press)
(Laurent Cipriani/Associated Press)

Among the mix of flips flops, winter boots and high heels was footwear from notable activists including Pope Francis's formal black shoes, running shoes from UN chief Ban Ki-moon and high heels from designer Vivienne Westwood.

Pope Francis's shoes are among hundreds of pairs in Paris. (Laurent Cipriani/Associated Press)

Long-planned climate march in Paris ahead of this week's UN conference was cancelled due to security fears.

There is a ban on public demonstrations in Paris in the wake of the Nov.13 attacks, but thousands of activists and protesters decided to ignore it on Sunday. Many formed a human chain along the route of the planned climate march.

Protesters linked arms together in solidarity for climate action. A couple in the linked chain kissed in front of riot police officers. (Thibault Camus/Associated Press)
Several of the protesters in the human chain donned clown costumes. (Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

But the unauthorized Paris demonstration turned violent.

The protest turned into a clash between French police and activists gathered in the streets of Paris. Michel Cadot, the Paris police chief, told reporters that police identified 200 to 300 people who violated a ban on all protests under the country's state of emergency.

Cadot said about 100 demonstrators were detained for pelting security forces with glass bottles and even some of the candles that were placed at Place de la République to honour victims of the attacks.

Riot policemen spray demonstrators near the Place de la République after the cancellation of a planned climate march in Paris on Sunday. (Eric Gaillard/Reuters)
(Christophe Ena/Associated Press)
Riot police arrest an activist during Sunday's climate protests in Paris. The city's police chief told reporters 100 protesters were detained. (Thibault Camus/Associated Press)

Paris police set off many rounds of tear gas to disperse the crowd.

(Christophe Ena/Associated Press)
(Christophe Ena/Associated Press)
(Laurent Cipriani/Associated Press)

The CBC's Nahlah Ayed is in Paris covering the conference and gave an update on the situation at Place de la République.

Tear gas at Paris climate change protest

8 years ago
Duration 1:54
CBC's Nahlah Ayed says police and climate change protesters have clashed at Place de la Republique

Many climate-related marches went off without a hitch in other cities.

In Canada, thousands gathered in downtown Ottawa for The 100% Possible climate march, organized by a local environmental advocacy group. Other large Canadian demonstrations were held in Halifax and Vancouver.

In Bogota, Colombia, there was a silent march to bring attention to climate change. Here, a woman holds incense. (Fernando Vergara/Associated Press)
Prince Albert II of Monaco with his wife Princess Charlene and their twins, Prince Jacques, right, and Princess Gabriella, take part in the World Climate March in Monaco. (Lionel Cironneau/Associated Press)
Climate demonstrators move through the streets of central London, campaigning for ambitious action to tackle climate change on Sunday. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

with files from The Associated Press and Reuters