The aim of the march was to raise our collective voices in protest against human-induced climate change. Often the issue of climate change can seem very remote; too far in the future and too far from home to cause much concern. This very visual demonstration aimed to inject some passion into the movement. To remind people that we are prepared to stand up and come together in support of our planet. In the run up to the general election, now is a crucial time to show those in charge that climate change is an issue close to the hearts of many, and we demand action.
The 20,000 marchers were an incredibly diverse bunch including babies in buggies and pensioners, groups of students and families; people had travelled from every corner of the country. Local and national campaigning groups were represented, including a bunch of polar bears protesting against Heathrow’s new runway!
The atmosphere was very positive; everyone there was smiley and friendly. People I met and chatted to along the way included a climate scientist; a school student activist; a mother wheeling baby in a pram; and an elderly couple who told me stories from many years of campaigning across Europe.
We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day – the sun was shining for what felt like the first day of spring. The sunny weather, friendly crowds and music which included a brilliant samba band gave the whole day a festival-like atmosphere. It was a great feeling to stroll along the wide roads of central London which would usually be full of cars and busses and throngs of commuters.
The march started in Lincoln’s Inn Fields and culminated in a rally outside the houses of parliament. Each of the speakers was inspiring, particularly Caroline Lucas, and John Sauven (Greenpeace executive director). The highlight of the rally was 12-year old Laurel, a passionate voice for her generation, who called for those in the Houses of Parliament to stand up and take action against climate change. The march ended with a minute of noise; everyone shouting and yelling as loud as they could. This was an uplifting reminder that if we raise our voices together we can make a lot of noise; hopefully decision makers in the houses of parliament, and elsewhere, were listening.