Saturday, November 04, 2006

I Counted in Trafalgar Square

© Rob Jarvis/ Stop Climate Chaos

I went to Laaaahdahn today (by bus) as part of the 1,000-strong RSPB contingent attending the I Count rally in Trafalgar Square.

Before heading to the main event, we had a pre-rally pep talk nearby at the Emmanuel Centre.

Inspiring speeches from a variety of people got everyone in the mood, and it was good to see that representatives of the three main political parties had turned out: Ben Bradshaw (Labour), Peter Ainsworth (Conservatives) and Chris Huhne (Lib Dem). Maybe the next election will see 'green' issues at the forefront?

Then it was time to go...


Marching to Trafalgar Square

By the time I arrived (at the back of our march), the square was pretty full and we ended up spectating from near the National Gallery. But it felt great to be part of something big - attendance was estimated to be somewhere around 25,000 people.

Organisations taking part included the RSPB, Greenpeace, Tearfund, Sustrans, the Womens Institute, Surfers Against Sewage, CAFOD and Oxfam, so it was a pretty mixed bag. There were a few polar bears, orangutans and giant hares, too.

Ashok Sinha, Director of Stop Climate Chaos

As well as speeches from various figures - Ashok Sinha, the President of Islamic Relief, the Bishop of Liverpool, Rob Newman (who explained why you should boycott Shell and the Royal Bank of Scotland), and Miranda Richardson - the crowd was 'entertained' in the gaps by Simon Amstell. It's fair to say that he wasn't everyone's cup of tea and maybe didn't quite strike the right balance between being funny and being flippant. Ah well.

RSPB snowy owl placards

Squeal! Razorlight take to the stage

Any mention of Razorlight was followed swiftly with a chorus of female screams, but I think they'll have gone home disappointed as Johnny Borrell failed to remove his T-shirt (it was a bit cold for that).

But if Johnny thinks climate change is a cool subject, perhaps they will, too? The more the merrier.

Ordinary people in this country and around the world care about what happens to our climate and environment. UN talks begin in Nairobi on Monday, so we'll see what politicians are prepared to do about it.

More info on the I Count website

and
Wish you'd been there? Read more on these blogs (nearly all with photos better than mine):
photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995