On Friday, November 29th, once again hundreds of people took a stand for their climate and their futures. Young and old alike arrived ready to demand action for our venerable earth, ready to make changes for our lives, our children, our planet. Busloads of school children stepped out to make their voices heard. They understand better than most the severity of our climate catastrophe and how it will directly affect them.
Starting in Sally’s Quad, the group of hundreds met. All of different ages, nationalities, life experiences but all with one shared goal in their mind: To demand action. This is the second march that St Andrews organized this semester, but why exactly has this been necessary? A couple days ago the EU finally declared we are now in a climate catastrophe, but we can all play our part and take responsibility for our planet in order to reduce levels of carbon and greenhouse gasses. We can’t wait for leaders to make changes because some are still convoluted enough to continue the narrative that climate change is not real. It is our obligation to start making changes. With students taking time from hefty revision schedules, Friday proved that we all have the power to make one voice turn into hundreds.
With inspiring speeches from students and school children alike, it was clear that everyone there was touched. Quoting Greta Thunberg, the students made it clear that it is one thing to care about an issue, but it is those who act who are making a difference. The school children in their own words made it clear just who climate change would affect: US. Our Children’s Generations and everyone else gathered had one clear theme in their words: Hope. Hope that now is the time that people will make a difference, hope that our future will look brighter than it does now.
As protestors marched down the Scores, passing the Castle and the Cathedral, there was certain significance for the people now changing the future in passing these historical landmarks. Turning around towards south street, cars were stopped and people gawked at the group as they chanted “Whose future? Our Future”. Some smiled encouragingly, others took out their phones and filmed and some even joined in this momentous occasion. As the group looped across Market street there were a few disapproving looks as protestors marched down the cobblestones, chanting for change. However, there was a great feeling of respect, respect for the steps that were being taken for our future.
Continuing the march past the historic Old Course and down onto West Sands, protestors grouped together, united towards change. In light of the upcoming election, there was an opportunity for a representative from each party to voice how their party will take steps to help the environment, with focus on renewable energy. Each candidate had five minutes to state their claims but no matter the policy each promised one common theme, each representative was finally taking a stand.
This march was organised by members of the university; our peers and a community came together to make this possible. They put politics, nationality, etc. aside in hopes for a better future: Our future. One that we have an obligation to change. So as the tide of the North Sea battered the sand, it became clear that a brighter future is on the horizon.