In December 2009 in Copenhagen the world’s governments met for what might have been be the last chance to agree on joint global actions to cut greenhouse gases to prevent runaway global warming. It was called ‘the most important meeting in history’. Millions of people were pressing their governments to do more – and to agree the best policies, even if some powerful oil, biofuel and aviation businesses oppose this. There were calls for a declaration of a Climate Emergency so that strong measures can be implemented such as 10% emission cuts by 2010, the building of a new green economy, an end to agrofuel use and protection of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities.
The Wave in London
On 5 December Transition Norwich travelled down to London to take part in the The Wave, the biggest climate march in history, when thousands converged on the capital to the planetary crisis being discussed by the nations of the world at Copenhagen.
It was a big march with 50,ooo people dressed in all shades of blue: royal blue dragons, sky-blue banners,turquoise wigs, indigo-striped faces. While MPs and campaigners spoke eloquently and passionately at Speakers' Corner, thousands gathered in Grosvenor Square before moving through the great shopping and political highways of the West End towards Parliament. Placards supplied by political and religious organisations declared an end to climate chaos, poverty and capitalism, brightly coloured homemade ones (including our own) from all round the UK declared Climate Emergency, Cardiff is Ready and There is No Planet B. Along the way and as we circled the Houses of Parliament both sides of the Thames we met fellow Transitioners - from Ipswich and Bungay at Speakers' Corner, from Berkhamsted by the Houses of Parliament, from Brixton, who were carrying a banner over Westminster Bridge. At three o’clock Big Ben sounded and a great cheer went up from us all. Was anyone listening? Is this the time when ordinary people get to speak out about the 101 issues that climate change brings to light, rather than give the authorial voice to the scientists and politicians and the corporations who pay for them behind the scenes? It was a beginning. Our voices were quiet, but we were there resiliently nevertheless (Charlotte Du Cann)
You can find a full report on the day on http://www.transitionnorwich.blogspot.com/ and check out the big blue pictures taken by Josiah Meldrum on flickr (http://tinyurl.com/ye2xjvv)
Climate Emergency Rally and March in Norwich
On Saturday 21 November several transitioners gathered in Chapelfield Gardens to join the biggest ever Norwich Climate March while Tom Harper set up the TN stall on Millennium Plain ready for the Climate Emergency rally. There was a buzz in the air as the organisers and police negotiated the route which had already been agreed. At last the Samba Band with its drums and colourful dancers started and we were on the move, but not for long as the traffic ahead of us came to a standstill on St Stephen’s Street. This gave us lots more time to hand out leaflets and get the message across to the fascinated shoppers that climate change is real and we need to act now. The Transition Norwich banner was up there near the front and was clearly visible on the TV News bulletins that went out over the weekend.
Then hundreds of people gathered outside the Forum for the Climate Emergency Rally where speakers including Dr Ian Gibson warned of the dangers of runaway climate change and of this being the “biggest issue of our time”. County Councillor Andrew Boswell said: "Gordon Brown should declare a National Climate Emergency and tell it like it is” and our very own Tully and Kate spoke about some of the solutions and all the positive things that are already happening in Transition Norwich and Bungay. (Christine Way)
While many people travlled to Copenhagen for a Global Day of Action midway through the talks. candlelight vigils and call-to-actions took place all over the planet. On Saturday 12 December Norwich joined 800 cities in 81 countries in mourning for what we have lost, celebrating what we care about and want to preserve and demanding that those in Copenhagen act while they can. (Lesley Grahame)
TckTckTck includes Avaaz, 350.org, Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF, and many others.
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