Caught between the marches!


It is 8.20 in the morning in Berlin and I’m looking out on the street, to where a few drifters remain after an all-night dance party. I leave for Dublin this afternoon and will not have the opportunity to join the climate change march that will take place here this afternoon. The march coincides with others taking place across the globe today, including a march in New York City prior to the commencement of the UN Climate Change Summit next week. I concur with the comments of Naomi Klein, in the Guardian today, that we cannot rely on talkfests to get on top of this issue. Success will come through the collective effort of communities, of people in the streets, engaging in direct action that will hopefully bring about concerted change.

The march in Melbourne, Australia, has already taken place. (I missed that one as well!) As you can see by the photograph (also printed in today’s Australian edition of the Guardian), the weather was clear and people marched in their tens of thousands. Some claim that the old-fashioned street protest is outmoded. It is not. We need to know that we do not face this issue as individuals, and we need our politicians to know that we are tired of their stalling, inaction and most of all, their complicity in the damage caused to each of us through their relationships with, and financial support of, polluters. I dearly hope that the marches in Berlin today, and other cities are a great success. I also hope that something a lot more than talk takes place in New York this week.

Tony Birch


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