Written by Aponi Kailash
LOCATION OF CLIMATE STRIKE AUTHOR ATTENDED: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
— additional strikes were held in Europe on Friday 27th September, numbers in the millions.
Our world is changing. Fact.
Humans are the largest contributor to climate change. Fact. Anyone has the power to make a change to our future. Fact.
From one young girl in Sweden, a movement started that has reached global proportions. In Australia close to 400, 000 people stood-up for action against climate change.
We stood-up for our future.
My Friday September 20th was a day that saw tens of thousands spill into the streets.
People of all backgrounds. School children, university students, parents, workers, grandparents, friends. All armed with creative signs, passion and smiles.
The atmosphere was electric.
I was marshalling the corner of Spring and Collins Street (the first corner of the march). Wearing my yellow Hi-Vis vest, our groups’ task was to direct people into the Treasury Gardens for initial speeches before the commencement of the march when we then had to ensure people funnelled down Collins Street.
The initial task was relatively easy. When the first few hundred people passed us I was brought to a smile. The next few hundred had us getting into the groove of telling people where to go — aided by an impressive a microphone (thanks Michael!) — we playfully ‘marshalled’ people towards the ever growing crowd in the centre of Treasury Gardens.
People kept coming.
They blocked off the roads, pedestrian crossings becoming obsolete. Police calmly looked on as people climbed traffic lights and tram stops to get photos or display their signs.
The insanity of this many people in one location made me laugh. Looking around I saw vibrant faces and people to add their voices and support to an issue that has been glossed over for way too long.
On a crackling radio that kept losing connection we listened to the commencing speeches, though loud cheers were the main things heard from our removed location.
The march officially began at 3pm — but we were faced with a challenge. The expected 50, 000 people had tripled. And now those in the centre of Treasury Gardens (expected to lead the march) had to get through thousands of people.
It was during this time I had some of the most polite and genuinely kind interactions with people. There was no pushing or shoving. When I asked people to stop periodically and let groups from Treasury Gardens through (yes I tried this), they actually listened. We chanted, chatted and conversed our way through what could have been a major scuffle.
Over an hour later and the final people were still going through our post.
It was just past 4:30 before the leaders of the march were returning to pass Treasury Gardens. Our mission was over but the spirit of this important occasion was still permeating the air.
The event was a major success. Numbers were flooding in from all over Australia of all those that took part. My social media feed was full with photos of all the creative signs and expressions of support.
…But my Friday September 20th was not over.
There was a showing of Damon Gameau’s documentary 2040 (beginning at 5pm). So after a mad dash to the train, a few minutes of being squished, struggling to find an exit to the departing train station and a final walk to the location, I arrived… and discovered the event had been delayed to allow for those attending the march to make it.
After Acknowledgement of Country and the welcoming of everyone to the showing, a brief explanation was given to the presence of stationary bikes — they were to power the sound system of the event!
Naturally I wanted a turn.
I’m happy to say that I contributed to the perfect sound of the event (…granted I only rode for a combined 20 minutes but hey, I did my part!).
Gameau’s documentary 2040 is constructed in a way that brings a sense of hope and the desire to make the necessary changes for our planet’s health.
He premises the film around showing his four-year-old daughter the current available strategies that have potential to make our future great. To avoid spoilers and to promote actually watching the film (yes I’m looking at all you Putlocker fanatics) I’m going to just say WATCH IT.
You finish the film feeling empowered to make a difference, to be part of the ReGeneration Revolution.
So if I can add my voice to the many others, if I can spread the word and even get one person to question our current practises that is an achievement. Every little thing helps. YOU can help.
…So what’s your 2040?
Check out https://whatsyour2040.com/ !!
Make sure to keep on the look out for other Climate Strike events and ways you can do little things to show your support.