Marching for Change
On November 29th, 2015 more than 50,000 participated in the London leg of the Peoples Climate March. The weather was threatening, wet and blustery, but this did not deter the protesters. Protestors marched from Hyde Park to Whitehall brandishing polar bears, penguins, placards and anything that could make a racket. What were they making so much noise about? Climate Change.
Over 2,500 events to raise awareness of climate change have been happening all around the world. The 2015 demonstrations in London was said to be the largest ever Climate March. The demonstrations come on the heels of the UN Climate Talks (also known as the COP21), which will take place in Paris from November 30th to December 12th.
London was not the only city in the UK to host protests but Bristol, Belfast, Edinburgh hosted joined in the marches. An order banning public gatherings in France prevented demonstrations from occurring. Due to the ban, Parisians have been staged a silent protest by placing 10,000 pairs of shoes at the Place de la Republique. UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and Pope Francis, were among those to donate shoes.
The ban in Paris was implemented following the deadly attacks on November 13th which left 130 people dead. The Government order however did not stop some protesters, who in defiance, gathered at the Place de la Republique.
What major groups were represented at the March?
- Green Peace.
- Friends of the Earth
- World Wildlife Fund
- Labour Party
- Liberal Democrats
- For the Love Of
What are the protestors calling for?
- Keeping global warming below 2C — the maximum temperature that will provide a livable climate.
The thousands mobilized were calling for politicians to implement policies and actions to avoid catastrophic climate change. 147 leaders will meet in Paris with the hope of a cementing a long-term deal to combat climate change.
Who were the big names in attendance?
- Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
- Emma Thompson (actress)
- Vivienne Westwood (fashion designer)
- Charlotte Church (singer)
- Caroline Lucas (Green MP)
What the frack is fracking anyway?
Fracking which is short for hydraulic fracturing is drilling deep into the earth to remove gas and oil from shale rock and has been around for over 65 years.
The process has been highly controversial and raised many eyebrows among environmentalists.
- Earth tremors
- Chemicals contaminating groundwater
- Wastage of millions of gallons of water
Quotes from the March:
“Global warming is at a tipping point. If we go past it, we can’t stop it. We are there right now. We have to stop it.” — Vivienne Westwood.
“The issues facing the world in Paris this week are pollution, climate change, inequality, environmental refugees, war refugees and resources wars.”— Jeremy Corbin.
“To change everything we need everyone, that's why people are gathering in cities around this country and around the world. they are rising up in hope and solidarity and determination to change everything” — Caroline Lucas.
A picture is worth a thousand words (here are a few thousand):