The United nations allowed over 40,000 people to register and the Bella Center’s capacity is only 15,000. Did they remember it was going to be cold?
With U.N. security letting in only those cleared last week, hundreds of accredited delegates, journalists and NGO representatives were left to stand for hours in near-freezing temperatures before being let through. “It was crazy,” AP’s Seth Borenstein said. “You couldn’t leave the line. You couldn’t go to the bathroom, you couldn’t eat. Then snowflakes started falling. One woman even said, ‘if lightning strikes me, would they take me out of line?'”
People started handing out food — one gave out tangerines, another croissants. A man screamed “I don’t need food. I need socks! I’m freezing my ass off out here.” At one point, a U.N. official announced the wait would be longer, prompting the crowd to boo and chant “Let Us In!”