6 November 2021
Over a hundred thousand protesters took to the streets of Glasgow as part of an international march for climate justice as COP26 continues to take place in the city.
Reams of demonstrators gathered as the rain came down in Kelvingrove Park this morning and chants for climate justice could be heard from neighbouring streets.
Representatives from trade unions, migrant rights organisations, faith-based groups and indigenous activists filled the streets as the protest made its way through the city centre and towards Glasgow Green.
Marching bands kept the crowd in high spirits through bouts of rain and wind and a faint rainbow made an appearance near Buchanan street once the weather improved.
The march was part of the COP26 Coalition’s Global Day of Action for Climate Justice, a civil society-led organisation set to kick off its People’s Summit tomorrow as international climate negotiations continue in Glasgow through next week.
“We are living through a period of multiple breaking points – from climate to covid to racism. We know that these crises not only overlap, but share the same cause,” the Coalition says in their call to action.
The solution, they continue, is “climate justice, system change, power from below”.
“Climate justice recognises that all of our struggles lead back to the same unjust system. Whether we are fighting for better pay at work, for clean water, or against police violence or the opening of a new mine,” the Coalition said.
Among the crowd marching today was Lorna Gold, the author of Climate Generation and Director of Movement Building for Faith Invest, who found the protest “really uplifting”.
“The weather couldn’t have been worse – it was just horrendous. It was wet and windy, but that didn’t matter. For me, it was almost symbolic that the sun shone for young people yesterday and today it was like a nightmare for the oldies. It was like, ‘okay, now it’s our turn to really put our money where our mouth is and walk in the freezing cold, wind and rain,” she told The Green News.
“What we’re hearing [at COP] is there’s a lot of blah blah blah as Greta says, but there’s a lot of genuine commitments that are too far away and too aspirational. They need to be translated into action now,” she added.
An Taisce climate member Theresa O’Donoghue was also marching in Glasgow today and said that despite being soaked the crowd, “just kept singing along.”
“We were enjoying the fact we were among so many people with such a shared commitment to climate justice. It was just so powerful and emotive. You’re there thinking, ‘so many people want this to happen’, yet people in existing power are standing in the way of it, especially in the light of what’s going on inside COP26,” she said.
Demonstrators gathered in their hundreds today in Dublin and marched from the Garden of Remembrance down to the gates of Leinster House.
Today’s demonstrations come on the heels of yesterday’s 25,000-strong youth protest that heard from an array of activists in the Global South.
Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate stressed to the rally yesterday that the Global South bears a disproportionate amount of the climate crisis and highlighted that “historically Africa is responsible for 3 per cent of global emissions, and yet Africans are suffering some of the most brutal impacts fuelled by the climate crisis.”
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