Sunday, December 09, 2007

Extreme Activism

Yesterday was the "Funeral for the Earth," a protest organized for the International Day of Action on Climate Change. Edmonton took part with 35 other cities across the country, and Canada with other countries around the world as world leaders gathered in Bali on this very topic during the UN Climate Change Negotiations.

It is December in Edmonton, and today was one of the coldest days of the past few weeks. The irony that we were protesting climate change (in particular, global warming) when it was -30 celcius this morning was not lost on us, as we shivered, jumped up and down, and wore multiple layers to stay warm.

"This is extreme activism," I said to one of the Raging Grannies, before things got rolling.

I wore two pairs of socks. I could not find the thermal sports socks I have stashed away here somewhere, but two layers of normal socks did the trick. Below, I wore thermals, in addition to my cords and normal underwear. On top, was a long-sleeved blouse under a sweater, a long coat, a my famous pink Anarchy symbol knitted hat that I always wear to protests in the colder weather.

We marched from Canada Place to the Legislature, which is not a short route. But the bright sun kept things as warm as they could be, and we were moving at a fast pace. No cops to be seen - that was a surprise. I was running in and out of the crowd as I always do at these events, taking pictures and film. My biggest challenge was caused by the two layers of knitted gloves on my hands. Operating a camera is hard enough with one pair of gloves, let alone two.

There was an impressive turnout despite the cold temperatures, with about 150 people. I didn't freeze. I was especially concerned because the Legislature steps tend to be chilly to start with, but considering what goes on in there and the kind of givernment we have, that should come as no surprise. However, as far as I could tell, no one suffered from frostbite or hypothermia. The Raging Grannies and Notre Dame des Bananes sung, speakers led a service as the Earth was laid to rest, and the batteries in my camcorder just barely held out -- cold makes batteries drain faster. I'll get the pics and vids up in the next day or so.

1 comment:

Ann said...

Good for you! I like your blog and enjoyed reading through your posts! I'll be back soon!
Shavua Tov,
Ann