Town centre closes to traffic for climate protest as hundreds gather

Hundreds of people gathered in Forres town centre on Friday for an organised rally against climate change. The road was closed as the protestors marched down the street and gathered at the Tolbooth to hear speakers of all ages.

The protest was part of climate fringe week in Scotland, when communities across the land will gather to discuss the threat of climate change.

Fridays for a Future, the worldwide group co-founded by Greta Thunberg, also called a global climate strike. Speakers from across generations addressed the gathering amidst the gaiety of open-air song, outlining their needs from our leaders and their laments for Planet Earth.

The climate fringe acts as a precursor to the start of Pre-COP on the 30 September in Milan, the final preparatory talks where 40 or so key countries prepare the stage for COP26 in Glasgow, starting on November 1, hosted by the UK Government.

Costume designer and maker Julia Tucknott, one of the Earth March organisers, said “Despite the promises of Governments across the world, hardly any policy is actually stopping the cause of the problem, the extraction and burning of fossil fuels and the relentless destruction of the natural world. It’s a terrifying thought that the World leaders who meet in Glasgow in November at COP26 will actually be signing off policies that will determine what happens this decade and for thousands of years to follow. The future of life on earth is now literally in their hands.”

March organiser Florence Spreadborough said: “I am a student coming on 18 years old. How can I imagine a worthwhile and exciting future for myself and my friends when the very stability of the world around me is constantly being threatened with irreversible changes to the climate, bringing more and more extreme weather and danger to so many across the world. What was extreme is rapidly becoming normal. It scares me and I’m often frightened to think about it.”

“We are drowning in promises and suffocated by the lack of serious action” continues Julia. “Decision-makers are compromised by inertia and maintaining the systems that run the world. Our paradise on earth is being rapidly obliterated. We desperately need new thinking. As Albert Einstein famously said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Pics: Marck Richards

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