This past weekend, more than 140,000 people came together in 55 towns and cities right across our sunburnt country.
On the eve of the Paris climate negotiations, as world leaders gathered in Paris, we gathered in unprecedented numbers.
We broke records. In every Australian capital city, more people joined People’s Climate Marches than ever before. Over the weekend of November 27-29, your power, your energy and your spirit beamed across the world’s media. What a beautiful sight.
From Melbourne to Darwin, from Broome to Lismore to Burnie and Cooktown, legends turned out in droves. In capital cities and towns, we took to the streets to show our leaders what we’re made of.
In Melbourne, 60,000 marchers stood for a minute’s silence to honour what we’ve lost and reflect on the unbreakable thread of hope that we hold for our future. Tears streamed down cheeks.
In Sydney, 45,000 people snaked through the city with placards, puppets, maracas and pinwheels, calling for climate justice and a brighter future.
In Adelaide, people on the footpath stood with jaws dropped as the march filed past. Armidale made the longest banner Australia has ever seen, and sweaty People’s Climate marchers in Cairns ended their march in a lagoon.
We are a massive community of people who care. We are firefighters, Indigenous people, nurses, young people, old people, people of faith, health care workers, union leaders, grandchildren and gardeners. We are explorers, thinkers, innovators, superheroes, dreamers and doers. We all want a brighter future.
To make this happen, people from more than 350 organisations worked together for nearly a year – environmental groups, unions, faith leaders, Indigenous communities, health organisations, local councils and grassroots, climate and community groups.
We grew relationships. We collaborated. And although the rallies are over, we’ll keep on working together, because we know together, we can turn the wheel of history.
Hundreds and hundreds of amazing volunteers also spent their evenings and weekends flyering, postering, phone banking, doorknocking, making placards and banners, marshalling and doing all sorts of other unglamorous but oh-so-important things.
You inspired people everywhere to get involved. And well over half a million people, at more than 2300 events in 175 countries, did. As people couldn’t march in the city of Paris, that beautiful city hosting the UN climate talks, you marched for them.
For the next two weeks, world leaders will meet in Paris to decide how much they are willing to cut pollution. Last weekend, we made so much noise from every corner of the globe, they cannot ignore us.
You turned up. You spoke out. And together, we’ll keep campaigning and speaking out and standing together, day after day, year after year, to create the brighter future we know is possible.
In 2016, we will stop the massive Carmichael coal mine. As Australia heads into a federal election, we will hold our political representatives to their duty of care for life.
Whether global warming is a top election issue is up to us.
A rally on its own doesn’t change the world. We all know that.
People do. And together, we will.
This is yours. You created it. Thank you, and let’s go!