Along with many other CAFOD supporters from the diocese of A&B Roger, Martin and Zoe joined the 50,000 people marching for climate justice in London on the 5th December. Here are some of their thoughts from the day:
“All set to go in my blue attire I headed for Westminster Central Hall where there was already a huge CAFOD presence, including many committed supporters who had travelled for up to five hours to be there. Instantly that gave me hope for the outcome of the day. Looking around the hall at the crowds that had gathered, many who had gone to great efforts to be there, helped to bring to reality for me the fact that we weren’t standing alone in our call for change, that our work for climate justice was being done alongside the work of thousands of others, and that many others really were committing themselves to the message of live simply- ‘to live simply so that others may simply live’.
The hour of worship that followed was inspiring and uplifting. Reverend Vincent Nichols spoke these words: ‘…at the centre of our world stands the human person, every single one made in the image and likeness of God and deserving, for that reason alone, respect, freedom and cooperation.’ From that moment onwards I held in my thoughts all the CAFOD partners whose lives are already being dramatically affected by climate change and prayed that, in the coming week during the negotiations at Copenhagen, their individual, personal stories and experiences would be heard and respected by world leaders.
Following the service we took to the streets of London to truly make our voices heard as we joined the 50,000 strong march as it passed through Trafalgar Square. The noise was immense as the marchers chanted, sang, whistled and banged on drums. It wasn’t until we passed over the second bridge, turning back on ourselves towards Whitehall once more, that those of us towards the front of the march truly got a sense of the numbers who had turned out to support a fair and just deal at Copenhagen. Seeing the human wave of people that stretched out behind me I knew that, in terms of numbers who had come to the Wave, the day had truly been a success. But for me the real success would only come when world leaders finally accepted responsibility and made strong commitments both to reduce emissions and to support those adapting to climate change in developing countries.
At the beginning of the day, during the time of prayer, we heard a quotation from His Holiness, The Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew who said: ‘The age of information permits no excuse for ignorance, inaction or indifference with regard to containing and reversing climate change.’ For me this was a real call to action and so now, even though the wave had happened, I will continue to call on our government to make those commitments and will shout louder and louder until my voice, among the thousands of others calling for the same commitments, are finally heard.”
“It was a great day. Tens of thousands people took to the streets to make a big noise for climate justice. All manner of blues-hair, wigs, flags, coats, face-paint and most of all a sea of large hands were present. Most exciting for me was the fact that Umme Kulsum, from CAFOD partner Prodipan, was somewhere in the Crowd.
I had visited a lot of the projects run by Prodipan in my visit to Bangladesh and knew how high a risk the country is under so it was great to know that she was able to join us for the day. She was part of the service at Westminster Hall and had various interviews and talks throughout the day. It was good to know that around 50,000 people had taken to the streets to show their support for countries such as Bangladesh. Umme Kulsum is now in Copenhagen with many other supporters. We wish her well and pray for a good deal, for the energy of the supporters and that Umme Kulsum will not feel the cold too badly.
Hands up for climate justice!” (Martin Brown)
We would love to add all your stories and thoughts from the day too so please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please keep taking action for climate justice at www.cafod.org.uk/climatejustice