People's Climate March: Reflection and Action
On Sunday 29th November, the JB team marched with 50,000 others in London and over 700,000 in 175 countries all over the world, calling on world leaders to act on climate change with the urgency and dedication required as the COP21 climate change conference in Paris got underway.
Some of the most powerful images came from Paris, where, banned from marching, people instead left over 20,000 pairs of shoes in the Place de la Republique and up to 10,000 people formed a human chain through the city.
In London, there were powerful testaments to the role of creativity and art in expressing the complex issues we are facing, and amplifying the feelings of those present.
Thom Yorke DJ-ed, while the Raised Voices choir, samba bands, and thousands of whistles, homemade rattles and shakers provided a soundtrack along the route. There was a spirit of hope and optimism in the air, but also defiance in the face of recent government green policy rollbacks that have been widely criticised.
The closing rally featured a group of Sámi, the northernmost indigenous people in Europe, performing traditional a-cappella yoiks, calling on the world to protect their heritage and the arctic they call home, and giving us a stark yet beautiful reminder of just what is at stake. Rapper Mic Righteous enthralled with his poignant ‘Time to Act’ and Kate Tempest gave a rousing, fiery performance of her new piece ‘Europe is Lost’ – this clip doesn’t do it justice – ending on a chant of “more empathy, less greed, more empathy, less greed.” Charlotte Church performed a new, as-yet-unnamed song.
This week, all eyes have been on Paris for the COP21 conference. But COP21 is not where it ends: it’s only one piece of a much larger movement that needs all of us to keep marching and acting.
If you want to be a part of a broader, nation-wide campaign on
climate change, The Climate Coalition is calling on everyone to SHOW THE LOVE on Valentine’s Day 2016. For more information on how you can get involved, check out their website - or contact Rosie and James from The Climate Coalition directly. You can follow them on @TheCCoalition or on Facebook at /theclimatecoalition.