Today I joined the Brisbane Climate Change Rally 2015. It was a fun, colourful, purposeful, but hot day. I went with two friends and took Leki with me (who was a smash hit with the crowd because of her colourful flowers). We had a great time chatting to people around us before we took to the streets – I had a conversation with the bicycle cops about their work on two wheels, had a chance to tell ‘Tony Abbott’ what I really thought and got interviewed by Channel 9 News – all in a day’s work when promoting bicycles!!
Who was there?
There were a lot of political groups, vegan promoters, animal rights groups, cultural and social action organisations, wildlife conservationists and speciality interest and focus groups. I couldn’t see a bicycle specific cohort, although lots of people there said it was cool I brought my bike and was promoting cycling at a climate change rally. There were lots of positive comments about reducing fossil fuel emissions and keeping society fit and healthy.
We heard speeches and saw performances on the main stage, which was interesting and necessary, but as minutes ticked on it got hotter and hotter. I could see the poor older people struggling to stand in the heat for so long – we were still yet to march. All benches and shade were taken, and I thought the crowd did well to hear out the speeches before finally getting the go-ahead to hit the street and march.
Let’s hit the streets!
This is always my favorite part of a Rally – the actual march through the city. I positioned our group close to the drumming band and we shadowed them the whole way. It is always easier to march when you have funky music to move to. I left fly with Leki’s bells so I was jamming with the percussionists. We were shaking a leg alongside, adding to the happy noise. The people surrounding us were grinning from amusement given the raucous entertainment we were providing – good olde harmless fun. So, we slowly peeled away from Martin Place to head off through the city.
We had a great time: we danced, joked, made up chants, found new friends, kept ourselves hydrated and entertained. It was a long march and totally worth it to exercise our civic rights, to voice our concerns about politics, to get amongst other like-minded community members and to have some damn good fun. We ended up back at the rendezvous point, happy, hoarse and satiated. Just as before we headed off for some well deserved cool drinks in the shade to wind-down, take a load off our feet and reflect on the day.