Why Do We Need The People’s Climate March?

On Sunday I will be joining you and friends at the People’s Climate march in London, UK, I’m looking forward to getting out on the street.  Often campaigning can involve lot’s of digital time, so it’s nice to be in a space with people who feel moved to put their bodies out there to take a stand.

As I walk around London the weight of colonial power that continues to undermine the sovereignty of indigenous people resisting fossil fuel extraction will be in my thoughts. I’ll wonder what the people in the shiny HQ’s of all the banks and corporations going about business as usual think about all this, and whether they consider the impact on water systems being wiped out over night and ecosystems decimated. I will be thinking of all my friends who are gathered in New York, as part of the Tar Sands bloc. Many allies and friends with whom over the past 5 years I have worked together to build bridges of solidarity across the sea. It is essential that when we are marching on Sunday that we take some time to honor those communities and people on the front lines every day. Although we will be marching in London and these communities and landscapes can seem far away, we are all intimately connected to these struggles because of the global web of the fossil fuel industry.

This Summer I made my way over to the Canadian tar sands, to the annual Healing Walk. The gathering was about witnessing together what was taking place in the once pristine forest, to hear first hand the impacts tar sands are having on communities. It was my most harrowing experience to walk through such destruction. However, beside me every step of the way were people who every day live and breathe the impacts of extraction and face that reality with ceremony, resistance and community. The simple act of walking with others through the reality of what the fossil fuel industry is capable of, still gives me nightmares, but at the same time when I looked around me that scorching hot day I saw people walking together from all sides of the struggle, listening to each other with deepest attention. We were nourished by stories of people’s lives on the land, the work that people do day in and day out to stop this mega project while we walked through ‘Mordor’. I realised that the walk was just as much an act of resistance and part of the work to continue to elevate the messages of people on the front lines and a chance to bring us together to re-imagine the future.

On Sunday we are marching in defiance of an industry and economic system that has left landscapes beyond repair and everyday commits industrial genocide. However, with each step we are also walking together into a new vision of what is possible. At times it can be hard to grasp what this future might look like, we have some pieces of the puzzle, we need to divest our money away from capitalism and ramp up renewables like there is no tomorrow, but many of these solutions and sparks we don’t know yet and that is why we will need each other as we are responding to unprecedented change. We will need to be able to imagine together, hear from voices that can be left behind in the negotiations behind closed doors and at the sidelines of our movements. These conversations and meetings that take place will spark new collaborations, bring about unlikely alliances and keep our spirits lifted when we get caught up in the grind of the details of the struggle. Can’t wait to see you there!

In Solidarity,



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