Sometimes, just showing up is important. When I learned youth were organizing a climate strike here in Halifax, I knew I wanted to go. Sure, people say: “what good does it do to go to a rally? That won’t bring any change.” Which is a great way to make sure nothing ever changes.
There is more to democracy than casting a ballot every few years. One of the ways we can call our political leaders’ attention is to physically occupy space together – by showing up.
It is powerful and energizing seeing more than 10,000 people gather in response to the climate crisis. Standing with that huge crowd, many of them kids half my age, I felt tingles as thousands of hands clapped in time to the Mi’kmaq honour song. Sometimes I feel the same tingle when the choir and the organ and all our voices ramp up in the last verse on Sunday morning. There is a hopeful energy in gathering together. The difficult moves necessary to address the climate crisis are going to require all of us to show up in a big way.
-Photographs also by Ben Lemphers