December 7, 2015

Ash Lauth, guest blogger, Center for Biological Diversity

Last week, hundreds of thousands around the world took to the streets calling for climate action. Voices and footage from all around the world being beamed into Le Bourget, and as world leaders walked the halls of COP21, they watched footage of the 785,000 people who marched.

In Paris, marches, rallies and actions have been banned and climate activists are being turned back at borders, detained and placed under house arrest for organizing. French police clashed with peaceful climate protesters and ejected them from public spaces.

But the whole world is watching, and thousands of marches were held in solidarity with our friends and comrades in Paris. People all over the globe stood in support with people, communities, cultures, and nations impacted by fossil fuels and climate change.

solidarity-2.JPGHere in the Bay Area, activists came together at the French Consulate to protest the silencing of climate activists in Paris and to show solidarity with those standing up to the fossil fuel industry. Our crew commanded calls to “Keep It In The Ground,” and sent a message to California Governor Jerry Brown (who is in Paris): “Climate Leaders Don’t Frack.”

Gov. Brown claims he’s a climate leader, but he’s championing fracking and oil production in California. Gov. Brown says that to combat climate change, at least one third of the world’s oil must stay in the ground. Yet, California remains the 3rd largest oil producer in the country. Gov. Brown can’t present himself as a leader on climate to the international community if he supports extreme extraction, including fracking.

And we weren’t alone. Check out these numbers:

  • 785,000+ People marched globally
  • 2300+ Marches worldwide
  • 175+ Countries with marches
  • 10,000 People in peaceful human chain for climate action, stretching the entire length of the march route as a show of unity and solidarity
  • 20,000 Pairs of shoes left as symbolic gesture after the French government probibited the Paris Climate March
  • 1 Pair of shoes, each, from Pope Francis and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

The dedication of activists embracing a new, creative reality as a way to encourage ever more decentralized, creative and committed action is nothing short of inspirational. This moment offers opportunities to do more outside of Paris in solidarity — to draw the lines between the root causes of climate chaos and injustice everywhere.

See all the pictures from Paris here.

785,000 Pairs of Eyes on Paris