Demonstrators are taking to the streets in Newmarket — and across the country — on Wednesday, Sept. 8 to speak out about climate change
As part of 350.org’s National Day of Action, a local group is inviting residents to make signs and line up along Yonge Street, with hopes of spreading from the southern town border near St. John’s Sideroad for five kilometres to the northern border at Yonge Street and Aspenwood Drive.
“Because of COVID, we didn’t want to have the normal get-together strike where a lot of people are striking together and waving our signs and not able to socially distance, so we thought this was one way to do something — we have to do something — and to do it as safely as we possibly can,” one of the organizers, Monica Woodley, said.
Local demonstrators will be asked to stand on the sidewalk every 100 metres or so, depending on the number of people who attend, however, their goal is to have demonstrators in plain view of the ones beside them.
Drivers going by are encouraged to show their support, as well.
“We like it when the cars honk,” Woodley said.
Participants are encouraged to make signs out of recycled material or buy sturdy new materials that can be reused at future climate events.
Anyone who wants to participate can sign up online or simply show up.
Demonstrators assigned a position along Yonge ahead of time may go right to their spot, but the organizers and participants are also meeting beforehand at the Quaker Meeting House at 17030 Yonge at 11 a.m.
The demonstration will then run from noon to 2 p.m.
Afterwards there will be a short march back to the Quaker Meeting house for a debrief and a conversation about the future with climate change.
For Woodley, who has been involved in climate activism since 2015, it’s about really raising awareness.
“It’s getting a lot better now but so few people really pay much attention to the environment and we’re not treating it very well and the politicians themselves are not really. We would like to see stronger climate action from whomever is in government,” she said.
Organizers noted that this day of action corresponds with the French federal leaders’ debate for the election and comes one day before the English federal leaders’ debate on Sept.9.