On the 5th of December 2009, a coach-nearly full- set off from The Warehouse. For some it was far too early in the morning, but there was a buzz of anticipation none the less. How many people would show up? Would the police be heavy handed? Would the placards survive the duration of the march without falling to pieces? Finally the question always asked in Great Britain, would it rain? (It didn’t rain until the very end, and only lightly.)
After nearly losing one passenger at Oxford services, and then getting stuck in a seemingly inpenetrable one way traffic system we eventually arrived at our drop off point in London.
We grabbed our banners and started following the masses of living blue material trudging, dancing and shouting it’s way to Grosvenor Square where the march began. Estimates vary between the Police’s conservative 20,000 and the organiser’s 50,000 estimated people in attendance. What ever the true number it filled up the square and overflowed down various roads. After half an hour or so the march began.
Far too much happened in the hours of walking to be recounted, but overall the atmosphere was one of both hope and wondering, with a little bit of fun mixed in. Hoping the collective effort would have some effect on the then upcoming Copenhagen Climate talks and wondering what the use was if nations bigger than out the UK took no action.
To see the fun aspect of the march, watch the video below.
Although in retrospect The Wave march seems to have had little effect on the decisions and emissions cut pledges (or lack of) made at the Copenhagen Climate Talks, I think it still served a very valuable purpose.
It brought people together from all over the United Kingdom and Europe. The optimist in me hopes it showed those attending, and especially the British government, that people want action to be taken quickly on climate change. What struck me was the great mixture of people from all walks of life and of all ages in attendance.
Even if the governments of the world seem hopelessly lost in a maze of negotiations, at least we know we can get organised as individuals and organisations to take action together. I look forward to a new year and decade, and wonder if we can avert runaway climate change?
Thanks must go to Mark who helped organise and sell tickets for the BFOE coach, as well as everyone else who helped sell tickets and prepare for the march.