Guest blog post today from a young woman at Madonna High School here in Toronto. Brooklyn Gifkins is currently doing a full-time co-op placement with me here in our Toronto D&P Office. I asked her to share her impressions of the Global Climate March and her participation in the Toronto contribution to the Global March - A Parade of Lights:
On November 29th, 2015, my school, Madonna, was fortunate enough to be able to attend a rally on climate change at Queens Park. The rally was being held right before the summit in Paris for climate change, as a way to show that the people of Toronto want our government to take a stance on the issue. It was a very exciting and memorable experience for us. (Ed. Note: Click here to the a Flickr Album from the event)
|Brooklyn (centre) holding part of the pipeline of hope.|
In preparation for this event, all the schools who were planning on going were asked to construct part of a pipeline, using any kind of recyclable materials. Then on the day of the rally, all the schools who built pieces would meet up throughout the subway line and create a pipeline going towards Queens Park. Our environmental team decided to use 2 litre pop bottles for their piece.
On the day of, we met at Wilson Station with our piece, and headed off to Queens Park. The rally started first with speeches from very inspiring people, as a way to get the crowd pumped and ready for the march. The sun has almost set when we were called to turn on our lights and take to the streets. During the march, I got glimpses of all the different organizations that had come to show their support, as well as all the everyday citizens that were fighting for what they believe in. There was a very diverse set of people, all there to show solidarity for this cause.
Once we circled back to Queens Park, we were being directed to create a “spiral of light”. It very a little confusing a first, but it got better as it went on. All the lights that people were holding made the view of the spiral breathtaking.
After we finished doing the spiral, a group of people emerged and starting performing. There were drummers as well as other musicians. The crowd gathered around to watch them. It gave the feeling of a sense of community. Eventually people started to leave, either to go back to their homes or to get some snacks that were provided.
Overall it was a very engaging and inspiring day. It gave my school the chance to see how many people are fighting for climate action. It showed how when we come together as a city, we are capable of making an impact on our government’s decisions!