This week the climate summit in Paris begins where leaders from 160 countries gather in a meeting to come up with solutions on climate change. There is great interest – not just among politicians – people all around the world require changes and improvements.
Whether it is the increasingly milder winters, the severe weather conditions that are already hitting poor countries or the astonishing images of glaciers that plummet into the sea together with the harsh words that this should not happen – the climate issue is hotter than ever. Sunday, November 29, people gathered in several major cities around the world to make their voices heard by politicians. From committed young people to grandmothers with pictures of their grandchildren as placards marched through the streets, with striking words like “My grandchildren will also have a good life on this planet”.
In Stockholm 4,000 people marched from Norra Bantorget to the parliament where they came together and shouted out loud “climate screams”. “We must shout out the anxiety we feel about the changing climate. Then it shall progress to motivating screams stating that we are capable of taking the measures required. We will be heard all the way to Paris,” encouraged the lead speaker via megaphone.
Whether it was heard as far away as Paris is questionable, but the gaze of passers-by and the stationary cars, that couldn’t get pass the demonstration in Stockholm, definitely got the message. Another demonstration, probably not heard in Paris, was in Sydney where 45,000 people gathered at the Opera House. But along with over 750,000 others from around the world – New York, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul and Mexico City to name just a few – they appeared all the way to Paris. The largest climate demonstration ever no politician can ignore.
In Paris, people were forbidden to demonstrate because of the high threat of terrorism after the attacks in mid-November. That did not prevent the people from taking to the streets and forming a “pretend demonstration” – instead they placed their shoes where they would have been standing in the real demonstration. The participation and the arrangement is definitely something that makes this meeting stand out from ones in the past. And as the words that filled Stockholm’s winter darkness resounded: “We are the power, the power in this world. We are the change we’ve been waiting for!” Perhaps it is precisely the attention of the general public that will help to create changes.
To see photos from rallies worldwide, click here.