People’s Climate March: Australia has spoken

To coincide with the United Nations climate talks in Paris, thousands of Australians came together across the world to call for strong action on global climate change. The marches were held across the weekend of 27 – 29 November. The Uniting Church in Australia encouraged all its members, congregations, schools and agencies to take part. The marches were well attended, with an estimated 45 000 people marching in Sydney alone, with 7000 at the Perth rally.

The Perth rally began from Wellington Square, following a welcome to country by Noel Nannup and a spirit dance from Indigenous dancers to chase away bad spirits. There were speeches from firefighters and religious leaders, calling for urgent climate action. The rally was led by frontline communities; Indigenous groups who were already feeling the effects of climate change. A large contingent of doctors were also marching, concerned about the health impacts, along with environmental, religious and political groups.

The march wound its way from Wellington Square to Hill St and onto Hay St, stopping at the end of the Hay St Mall, opposite Uniting Church in the City, Wesley Perth, with the stream of people stretched beyond the mall. A minute’s silence was held before a final performance from Indigenous dancers.

Afterward the march, people mingled amongst a range of stalls set up around the church.

It was a highly positive march, said to be the biggest of its kind in WA, and included many people for whim it was their first protest march, showing how far concern for climate change is spreading.

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Laura Clapton

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