Global Day of Action for Climate Justice: Cambs COP26 Coalition marches in Cambridge with 1km long ‘umbilical cord’
Hundreds of environmental campaigners have come together in Cambridge to march for climate justice as part of the UK-wide Day of Action during the COP26 UN Climate Conference.
The demonstration, which began at Great St Mary’s Church at 1pm today (Saturday, November 6), has been organised by the Cambs COP26 Coalition, a civil society coalition made up of a range of local groups working on environmental issues and social justice, including Cambridge Friends of the Earth, Cambridge Greenpeace, Cambridge Climate Justice, Extinction Rebellion Cambridge and XR Youth Cambridge.
Campaigners brought a 1km long hand-made umbilical cord fashioned from cloth to represent “our connections to each other and the planet”.
Ahead of the event, Zareen Taj, one of the organisers of the event, said: “Ahead of the summit in Glasgow, we formed the Cambridgeshire COP26 coalition of local organisations working on environmental and social issues to raise awareness of the dire need for real, urgent and fair solutions to the climate crisis.
“Our Day of Action for Climate Justice in Cambridge is just one of many demonstrations across the UK and the world on November 6.
“Together, we need to keep the pressure on world leaders at this crucial time so that they make the right decisions to protect us all – but particularly the most vulnerable people in the world, who have done the least to cause climate change but are suffering the most.
“We’ll be marching in Cambridge city centre from Great St Mary’s to Parker’s Piece, hearing from local speakers and musicians, ‘sounding the alarm’ to try to wake up our politicians to the urgency of the crisis, and joined by a community art piece “umbilical cord” more than 1km long, crafted by local artists and members of the public to highlight that we are all connected to each other, and to nature and the Earth.
“We’re working hard to make it a safe and accessible day for everyone – the climate crisis is going to affect every one of us and we need to send a strong message to leaders that climate justice can’t wait.”
Members of cycling campaign group Camcycle gathered at Romsey Rec for a ride from Mill Road to the city centre, where they joined the back of the march.
The crowd marched to Parker’s Piece for a climate fair and rally, starting at 2pm. At 3pm, participants sounded the alarm – setting off alarm clocks and phone alarms, signalling the urgency that world leaders at COP26 “wake up” to the climate crisis.
Speakers for the day included natural sciences student Junayd Islam, a climate activist, member of the Friends of River Cam and former Cambridge Youth Striker, and Daisy Thomas, a member of Cambridge Climate Justice campaign and a third year University of Cambridge student who was heavily involved in the university divestment campaign.
Among the local musicians performing were Flaming June, Citrus George and Heidi and Rachel Caldwell.
The coalition also includes Pesticide Free Cambridge, COP26 Umbilical Cord ‘We are all Connected’. Cambridge Schools Eco Council, Cambridge Library of Things, Cambridge Stop The War Coalition, Artist Union England, Sew Angry, Cambridge District and Trades Council, UCU, Unite,
Clean Air Cambridge, Global Justice Now Cambridge and Cambridge Climate Justice - FKA Zero Carbon, Fridays for Futures Youth, On the Verge Cambridge, Little Blue Dot, Friends of the River Cam, Cambridge Community Kitchen, The Lockon community centre and Acorn.
For more information, visit cop26coalition.org.
This week, UN secretary-general Antonio Gutteres was in Cambridge to collect an honorary degree, and warned that current climate pledges mean we were on course for an uninhabitable world.
Look out for further coverage and pictures from the day on this website and in the Cambridge Independent, out from November 10.