From September 15–17, thousands of people like you will take to the streets for the 2023 Global Climate Strike. It’s the first of its kind since 2019, when activist Greta Thunberg led millions to form the biggest climate protest ever.
Then, the pandemic struck and put the global climate strike movement on hold.
Well, it’s back and more urgent than ever. In light of record-breaking wildfires and deadly temperatures, it’s time to join forces and rebuild the momentum we lost.
Whether you’re an old hand with environmental protests or if this will be your first time protesting against climate change, here’s a list of handy tips to help you make the most of your day.
1. Check the forecast
In years past, this might have just meant checking the weather, but this year’s wildfires have caused dangerous levels of air pollution. Be sure to check the Air Quality Health Index and take all necessary precautions for your health. You might want to wear a mask, both for germs and air quality.
We recommend comfortable clothing, optional layers, a cap, plenty of sunscreen, and an umbrella to prepare for all eventualities.
2. Go with friends
Climate marches are welcoming and inclusive, but as with any large gathering it’s better to bring a buddy. If this is your first climate strike, going with a pal will boost your confidence. It also means you can look out for each other and chat during the downtime.
3. Bring water and snacks
These events can last a few hours so it’s essential you bring enough water and snacks to see you through. Handheld foods like protein bars or apples are ideal as they won’t go off in the heat and aren’t easily squashed in your bag.
4. Take pictures
In all the excitement, it can be easy to forget to snap a photo! Taking photos or videos and tagging the relevant accounts (such as @ecojustice_ca or @fridays_for_future_canada) can help organizations boost their reach and make more of an impact. Use the hashtags #EndFossilFuels #FastFairForever to join the conversation.
5. Plan your route
Depending which city you’re in, roads may be closed and transit options diverted. Make sure you check ahead and plot your route to and from the event safely. If you’re planning to cycle, have you looked into where you can lock your bike? If you have any accessibility issues, can you contact your local march organizer for step-free alternatives?
6. Know your rights
Here in Canada, we have the right to peaceful protest on public property. However — as with so many rights in this country — asserting this right can come with personal risk for marginalized groups.
When attending a protest, a few things to bear in mind:
- The police are allowed to ask you questions, but you do not have to answer these questions. Be polite.
- Except in Quebec, where there are some restrictions, it’s legal for members of the public to take videos or photographs in public spaces.
- You don’t need a permit to hold a peaceful protest.
7. Get your message out there
A creative placard is not only fun to make, it can also amplify your message by attracting the attention of passers-by or even the press. We suggest riffing off a popular saying, a song, or simply getting punny with it.
If you’re looking for something a little more long-term, why not print a t-shirt or customize a tote bag so everyone can see your bespoke climate slogan?
Whatever you do, the important thing is to stay safe and soak in the atmosphere. There’s something special about so many like-minded people showing up for a better world. Let’s do this.