December 01, 2015

Global Climate March in Vancouver ~ November 29th

It was a bright, cold Sunday afternoon at the end of November, with temperatures hovering near the freezing mark for much of the day. A little warming might have been welcome, but that's not what brought thousands of us together in downtown Vancouver.

We assembled in the shadows of the Vancouver Art Gallery, within the reflection of high rise buildings and the bustle of a consumer society weekend.

We were greeted with drumming, more drumming, speeches and more drumming. The atmosphere was inviting and hopeful, and most assuredly: family-friendly.

Finally, in our thousands, we took to the street to walk through the downtown. There were chants and slogans, yells and cheers, and singing too. 

Many groups were represented at the march. The United Church was there, as were other faith groups. Unions were involved, including the BCTF and the BCGEU. Jeem's comrades with the Marxist-Leninist Party were proudly present too.

And so we marched. And marched. And chanted. Some of us might have been heading in the wrong direction, but...

It was all good fun. Apart from being cold of course.

When we rounded the corner at Burrard we came upon an inspiring sight, that of an Esso station being occupied by students.

                                                                                                                                                                       The "occupation" was all in good cheer too of course, and it gave us pause to consider how much power citizens actually hold, and maybe   how much power we have been willing to hand   over to politicians and corporations. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                    While many of the day's marchers were probably supporters of the New Democratic Party, I didn't see a visible sign of the party's direct involvement in the day's events. Of course we don't expect the Liberals or Conservatives to be present, but wouldn't this event be a natural for an activist party moving ever more steadily towards a fully green platform?                                                                                                                    Who will speak for us? In Paris, in Ottawa or in Victoria?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             And why, after all these years, are we still having to march in the streets for something that should have settled forty years ago? To ask that question is to come back to the question of who speaks for us.                                                                                                                                                                                              Photos by Jeem.   Copyright 2015 by Jim Murray.

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