We Resist. We Build. We Rise. A worker's report from the People's Climate March in Christchurch

We Resist. We Build. We Rise. A worker's report from the People's Climate March in Christchurch

Unite Union Executive Board Member Moniqua Reid reporting from the People's Climate March in Christchurch.


Christchurch Climate Parade Play “Earthy Earth & the Forces of Doom”

April the 29th brought together workers, students, various organizations and environmental groups around the world to make it clear that climate change needs action now and that the people want a sustainable future with sustainable energy. This day is known for the People’s Climate Marches around the world, which have spread from the United States as people from all walks of life continue the fight for climate justice.

The first People's Climate March was created in 2014 as 400,000 strong marched through the streets of New York City demanding urgent action for our global climate crisis on the eve of the 21st annual UN Climate Summit in Paris. Unite union members also marched for climate justice on the People's Climate Marches in Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin. This UN Climate Negotiations meeting in Paris was attended by Unite union official Gary Cranston who pushed for a "Just Transition" for workers and their communities, which was eventually included in the text of the agreement. Since then many commentators believe these global marches to be one of the key instigators that bought about the Paris Agreement. At this point in time the Paris Agreement is the most comprehensive global agreement to address climate change, although it is woefully inadequate when it comes to detailing fair and effective actions that will actually deal with the problem.


Christchurch and Taranaki had events planned for the worldwide march. Christchurch had a parade organised with key speakers in Cathedral Square and a play created by Simon Brown - "Earthy Earth and the Forces of Doom", the play followed Earthy Earth on a downward spiral after being convinced to try a ‘hit’ of CO2 and Methane from Dirty Fossil Man and his acquaintance, Stinky Cow. This was closely followed by a march led by Earthy Earth and her saviours, The Eco Kids, Eco Nurses and Eco Warrior. There was an estimated 600 people marching around the Christchurch CBD with amazing placards, my personal favourite being a polar bear flipping everyone off.

Nicole and I were out in force for the climate parade in Christchurch to take a stance against climate injustice and to demand actual concrete change towards a more sustainable future. Climate change is one of those issues that you can’t immediately see the results from, it’s slow moving but it is incredibly important for young individuals and the working class to create noise for the world in which we live fairly and sustainably in. If every person made a change in their own lives as small as recycling, car-sharing to work, reducing individual beef intake or buying more products packaged in cardboard or glass rather than plastic, then this would make a great start!


Links to further reading:

Unite supports climate justice

Unite union condemns exclusion of ‘just transition’ in the Draft Paris Outcome