This time last week, the world saw one of the largest days of climate action ever. From the heart-warming scenes of shoes left where the people could not march in Paris, to a 50,000 strong crowd in London, and the hundreds that marched for change here in our very own county.
In Southampton members from across the South from Eastleigh, Romsey, Bournemouth, and Portsmouth came together ahead of COP21 alongside community groups to unite in the face of adversity. The peaceful protest saw speakers such as organiser Jenny Barnes talk about the massive strides we have taken in terms of renewable energy production, but also, how far we still have to go. Rebecca Kinge of Dnagerous Ideas reminded marchers that community spirit and togetherness are powerful things. There were chefs serving vegan food under the banner Food Not Bombs, and the West Solent Solar Cooperative signing up new recruits to the cause. The Wat on Waste campaign were also present to hand out food rejected from supermarkets. There was singing, stalls, and plenty for members to talk about including fossil fuels, fracking, and a real Green Deal.
On the Saturday, 28th, East Hants Green Party had a really good turn-out for the Alton Climate Alliance group’s rally, despite the cold. The rally was opened by Alton Mayor Pam Jones; speeches followed from Altonians, young and old, explaining what climate change meant to them and future generations. One Altonian, working in the Philippines helping local villagers, sent a message describing the devastating and visible effects of global warming out there. There was music, a funny hat competition, and a hand-outline stall. The hand-outlines were glued on to placards to be carried in the London Climate March on 29 November.
On the Sunday as London kicked off, members of Winchester Green Party joined a march through Winchester city centre organised by WinAcc to mark the beginning of COP21, the climate change talks in Paris. They walked through the streets of Winchester waving our banners and singing “what shall we do about global warming” as tunefully as possible. The march went through the heart of the old capital, and was extremely well attended.
Many Hampshire members also made the trip to London to join the 50k. One thing united all the separate days of action; the agreement that this government, and the last, have failed humanity in their inability to see that climate change is real, and to legislate to help limit its already visible negative effects. We need a commitment to carbon free solutions to our energy needs, and cleaner ways of transporting ourselves. This government cannot be trusted with such an important task as they have shown again and again through breaking their own green pledge. Greenest government ever they are not, and this is why the fight shall continue.