“There’s no Planet B” in the fight against global warming. That was the message coming out of the world’s biggest day of climate change activism ahead of the Paris COP21 summit.
In the French capital, where demonstrations were banned after the recently deadly attacks claimed by ISIL, activists laid out more than 20,000 shoes in the Place de la Republique to symbolise absent marchers.
One activist, dressed in white as an angel with large wings, held a sign saying “coal kills.”
About 10,000 people joined arms to form a human chain through Paris, along the route of a banned march.
Violent clashes also broke out in the city, with riot police using tear gas to disperse around 200 protesters. French President Francois Hollande accused the violent protesters of dishonouring the memory of the dead.
Across the Channel, in London, around 50-thousand people marched through the city. And there were some famous faces among them.
“Twenty years ago, we used to have climate change marches. It was always seen as a sort of side issue. Now it has become the issue of the 21st Century,” said actress Emma Thompson.
Musician Peter Gabriel added: “I’m here because I’m a granddad now and a dad, and I really think this is a serious threat to the future life of my kids.”
In Sydney, Australia, around 45,000 people are estimated to have marched through the central business district towards the Opera House. Protesters held placards reading: “There is no Planet B,” and “Say no to burning national forests for electricity.”
More than two-thousand climate change events were held around the globe in all – with total turnout running into hundreds of thousands of people, according to organisers.