Weather extremes are multiplying, more and more animal species are dying out, sea levels rise – right now, a group of people are on the streets to draw attention to exactly this.
More specifically, they are standing in Stirling centre, between Kings Street and Murray Street, a number of University of Stirling students with colourful placards and chalk. ‘System Change, Not Climate Change’ proclaims one of the signs, ‘ No More Empty Promises’, and the street is adorned with white chalk slogans and the name of the university society who organised it, a demand itself: Global Justice Stirling.
It’s Fridays For Future’s ‘Global Day of Climate Action’. In many countries, protesters are claiming the cities or implementing online actions to raise awareness. The students outside Stirling Council, gathering with placards and chalk, could almost be part of a familiar Global Climate Strike picture – were there not masks, distance, the small number of people. Significantly fewer than the crowd that came together before, on Friday strikes.
‘We decided to organise this action to bring climate change back at the centre of the public debate, now that we are slowly starting to go out of the pandemic and given the attention projected on Scotland due to the COP-26,’ explains Ludovico, president of Global Justice Stirling.‘The protest was organised with Covid-19 safety in mind.’
The students drew this on the largest of the posters: A city with its speech bubble ‘Don’t worry, stay at home, wash your hands, recycle your plastic and feed the birds, IT WILL ALL BE OKAY’ under a towering wave showing ‘Covid-19’. Behind that looms a taller wave with ‘Recession’. Behind that is the taller wave with ‘Climate Change’. Everything is topped by the gigantic wave ‘Biodiversity collapse’.
Clearly, the group wants to show that despite seeming caught in the firm grip of the virus, we have to take all possible actions to stop the environmental crises. How do we get there? The Climate Strike protesters call for action locally, state-wide, globally. Seth, one of the protesters, states:
‘From zero emissions of the uni to a stronger support of renewables by our government and holding international corporations accountable, so much can and must be done!’.
Similar statements can be found fairly everywhere on social media. Around the world, the movement seems to be awakening from the paralysis of the pandemic and pointing to the bigger wave behind it – announcing: The dam is still to be built.