On Friday 20 September, 3,400 people came together in Exeter City Centre for the Global Climate Strike in which over 150 countries took part. Both children and adults of all ages gathered in Bedford Square at 11am to protest for an act of emergency for the climate crisis and demand for climate justice.
After a collection of speeches, the Strike commenced just after 12pm. The thousands of strikers took to the High Street of the Exeter City Centre walking all the way down onto South Street, past the Exeter Quay and onto Topsham Road. The strikers collected with powerful and artistic banners and posters with phrases such as “Don’t Be A Fossil Fool” and “No Time to Waste”. There were many displays of artwork including a giant model of the earth in a wheelbarrow and a tribe of people dressed entirely in green.
There were protesters with posters with the words “Skolstrejk för Klimatet” which is translated from Swedish to “School Strike for Climate” and are the famous words of Greta Thunberg, the young activist who started the Fridays for Future Youth Climate Strikes and began the Global Climate Strikes, like this one in Exeter.
The strike ended at Devon County Hall where there was another set of speeches and chants. A representative spoke on behalf of the organization ‘Stop Ecocide’ that focuses on changing the law and believes that the ecocide of our climate should be recognized as a crime.
This is a law for the people, for the earth, for all beings of earth, to make the shift so that we’re not egocentric human beings we are ECO centric human beingsStop Ecocide representative
The representative said “It’s about the unifying principal because we live on one earth”. She also discussed an attempt to introduce international law against ecocide. This has been led by Polly Higgins, who founded the non-profit team.
“It has to be a global alliance and it has to be made into a criminal law because once things become criminal that’s when consciousness shifts.
“This is a law for the people, for the earth, for all beings of earth, to make the shift so that we’re not egocentric human beings we are ECO centric human beings”.
A representative, named Rasheesh, spoke about “acting in solidarity with oppressed communities in the Global South and Indigenous North”. He acted on behalf collective named Wretched of the Earth.
Rasheesh talked about the integrated racism within the climate crisis and called attention to the history of empire.
He further added “This movement will become so much more powerful once it becomes a truly multicultural movement.”
This article originally appeared in print on 30 September 2019.
Editor: Emma Hussain