On September 27, hundreds of thousands gathered during a historic protest in Montreal as part of the Global Climate Strike initiative. Rallied by the words of young Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg, people from all regions of the province participated, including Laura Canada employees, who were proud to march for a cleaner and safer planet.
Around sixteen employees from Laura Canada’s head office joined the climate strike. Everyone had his or her unique reasons for participating, but all were inspired by one overarching motive: change is necessary now in order to have a better tomorrow. “We need to take care of Mother Nature and respect her. Not just for us, but for our kids and grandkids too,” said Mallory, who works as a web merchandiser. “I strongly believe in being environmentally conscious. Our actions as individual consumers make an impact, but it is equally important for the government to do their part as well,” added Rafaëlle, a graphic designer.
Colleagues, friends and family members gathered around the George-Étienne Cartier Monument, at the foot of Mount Royal Park, for the beginning of the march. Bustling with participants of all ages and backgrounds, the atmosphere was one of peace, hope and unity. “I saw only smiles on their faces. Parents, children, grandmothers and grandfathers all walking for the same reason,” remembers Mark, who works as a senior import production coordinator.
Stacey, director of finance, was motivated to participate because of her 9-year-old son, a representative of his Environmental Club at school. She explained that he already knew about Greta Thunberg: “He saw her videos before I did. If a 9-year-old can understand the severity of this global issue, then I better get on board with him too!”
While some chanted loudly, dressed up in costume or played music specifically for the occasion, others showed their creativity through tongue-in-cheek posters.
“Respect your mother!,” “You will die of old age, and I will die of climate change!,” and “There is no planet B” were some of the many moving signs that were displayed in the crowd.
After four hours of marching, at about 4 pm in the afternoon, demonstrators gathered around the young activist, who took to the stage to thank Montrealers for coming together. “We are not in school today. You are not at work today. Because this is an emergency, and we will not be bystanders. Some would say we are wasting lesson time. We say we are changing the world…the people have spoken, and we will continue to speak until our leaders listen and act.”
Empowering words that resonated with many around the world who hope to see genuine change soon on behalf of the planet.