On Sunday, Nov. 29 communities around the world will come together for a massive environmental protest, including right here in Castlegar.
Held the day before the UN climate conference begins in Paris, the Global Climate March is a way for citizens to put pressure on their representatives to make real change, and to show their support for climate action.
“It’s kind of just to show our support and that our community, as well as the others that are having events, are in support of our leaders that are talking in Paris about climate change, and that we care and want it dealt with in a serious way,” said Kaitlin Warren, who’s in grade 12 at Stanley Humphries Secondary School.
For the Castlegar’s Climate Action Rally, organizers have been building a wooden tree to help people express themselves.
“The leaves will be for people to write their ideas,” said Warren.
“Basically the purpose of our tree … [is] we’re gonna have people write on it, and it will be how they’re helping the world transition into cleaner energy now, and then making a clean energy pledge, like personally, and then sharing their ideal vision for a clean energy Castlegar,” said Michelle Matson, also in grade 12.
The idea for the rally came out of a Castlegar citizens concerned about climate change discussion group, and those organizing are from a number of different organizations in Castlegar. The West Kootenay EcoSociety is helping plan, and Matson and Warren are with the Stanley Humphries Social Justice League and have invited other members of the league to help out with the rally.
They also recruited the wood shop class to build the tree, and the art class will be painting it. Students from Kinnaird Elementary will be painting the leaves.
After the rally, Matson and Warren hope they can install the tree somewhere public, like outside City Hall.
The rally itself will feature a number of speakers and live music at Millennium Park.
Both MP Richard Cannings and MLA Katrine Conroy have been invited and have said that if they’re unable to make it, they will at least send letters. Councillor Deb McIntosh will be there on behalf of the City.
A number of choirs have agreed to perform, as well as Motes and Oats, and a member of the Social Justice League will perform slam poetry. There will also be an open mic, and Sunshine Café is providing hot chocolate.
But before the rally begins at 2 p.m., everyone is invited to form up at City Hall and march to the park.
“People can bring like percussion instruments and signs in they want,” said Warren.
The march begins at 1:30 p.m.
Matson and Warren wanted to thank all of the sponsors who are supporting the rally.
“We needed help with this event, and it’s really great to see community businesses that have stepped up, and said ‘Yes, I will help,’” said Warren.
It’s still not known if the rally in Paris will be allowed to take place following the terrorist attacks of Friday, Nov. 13, but the rally in Castlegar will definitely continue as planned.