Thousands of people marched the streets of Montreal on September 24 to protest climate change as part of the ‘Fridays for Futures’ protest first started by climate change activist Greta Thunberg in 2018. The event emphasized social justice for Indigenous people and those in the Global South. They also stressed the importance of accountability from the Global North, the driver of climate change.
The protest was organised by the ‘Coalition étudiante pour un virage environmental et social (CEVES), the Racial Justice Collective, Solidarity Across Borders, and pour le futur Mtl’. Members from the Green Party of Quebec, Quebec Solidaire and the Liberal Party of Quebec were also present.
People marched in the sun, many with masks but some without, with signs made from repurposed federal election signs and cardboard. These signs addressed a variety of issues related to climate change, such as Fairy Creek, the TMX pipeline and animal consumption.
Sandra Gadjos, a Green Party member and animal rights activist says that addressing the climate change crisis is no longer optional, it is urgent and now is the time to act.
“I am animal rights activist, so I am bombarded with information everyday about the condition of the planet and all the destruction that animal agriculture causes to the environment, so I feel it is important for me to be here today,” Gadjos told Global Green News.
Spokespeople from the ‘Mashk Assi Collective, Mobilisation 6,600, Solidarity Across Borders, and the Association Quebecoise des Médecins pour l’environement spoke to the crowd about different issues related social justice but all outlined how these were important to the environmental cause.
“Exporting materials as far as possible is how the economy has always worked but this is no longer livable, we can no longer proceed this way,” said Anais Houde from Mobilisation 6600 to protesters.
“The environmental crisis is also a public health crisis,” Jerome Leclair said to protesters, a nurse with the collectif la planète s’invite en santé. “Air pollution, forest fires, flooding, storms, heat waves, dryness, famine, rising water levels … We have not gotten out of the woods. When I see how our health system was affected by COVID-19, I ask myself how we will deal with this infinite succession of catastrophes? What is the plan?”