Rallies in 240 cities across Canada, 5,248 rallies across 181 countries
in world's largest coordinated political protest in history
OTTAWA, Oct. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - More than 3000 people filled parliament hill in Ottawa yesterday calling for stronger action to address global warming pollution and to support the development of clean energy in Canada. Teachers, students, autoworkers, leaders from all faiths joined together with scientists, politicians were among the Canadians who took part in the most diverse and largest cross country protests in Canada's history. All told tens of thousands of Canadians in 240 cities joined together to protest government inaction on climate change.
"Earlier this week Environment Minister Prentice said he was not planning to put hard limits on global warming pollution for all industries and that there would be no agreement at the UN climate summit," said Tzeporah Berman, Executive Director of PowerUP Canada who spoke in Ottawa on parliament hill. "These widespread protests prove just how out of touch he and his government really are."
"We are running out of time," said John Stone, a Canadian scientist on the bureau of the International Panel of Climate Change. "I came to support these young people on parliament hill because further delays are scientifically irresponsible."
The protests were part of global effort that organizers are now saying is "the most widespread day of political action in the planet's history."
"In some sense, the global warming movement finally went global yesterday," said 350.org co-founder and well-known author Bill McKibben. "There were thousands of people in the streets from Togo and Ethiopia and Paraguay to Vancouver and Ottawa and Sydney."
The events all centered on the number 350, which scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Around the shore of the Dead Sea Israeli activists made a giant 3, Palestinians a huge 5, and Jordanians a 0. In South Africa, climbers with banners dangled beneath the cable cars on Table Mountain. In Canada, over 5000 people marched across the Cambie Bridge in Vancouver while in Ottawa over three thousand thronged Parliament Hill. Despite frigid temperatures and relentless rain, citizens made the call, figuratively and literally for climate action. Amid music, dancing, speakers and activities, participants flooded the Prime Minister's phone line with demands for hard limits on pollution for all industries and a green economy.
Highlights across the country details included hundreds hugging the Whitehorse legislature while Eastern and Western coastal communities formed human tidelines to show how rising sea levels will reconfigure the landscape on which people live - and in some places submerging their homes altogether.
"Canadians and especially Canada's youth are feeling betrayed by Ottawa," said Joanna Dafoe a student organizer who has volunteered for the past six months to coordinate the cross country events. "The day of action was an incredible beginning for a movement that will grow until our government gets serious."
SOURCE CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK CANADA
For further information: For further information: For a complete list of events or to obtain photos see www.350.org or call: Joanna Dafoe, 350.org, (416) 985-7558; Tzeporah Berman, PowerUP Canada, (604) 313-4713; Hannah McKinnon, Climate Action Network, (613) 276-7791