“On arrival at the hostel in Paris after a pleasantly uneventful journey (excellent organisation by the CAFOD staff group) we met with other campaigners from Catholic organisations from across Europe and North America for a mildly chaotic “getting to know you” session.
“In addition to ourselves there were groups from Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria and Canada. Each gave a short presentation about their efforts at the various climate marches on 29th November.
“It was particularly interesting to hear from the Belgians, who faced a ban on street marches in response to the terrorist attacks a few weeks earlier. Their response was a series of ingenious events, including a Lego figure climate march (complete with tiny banners) an indoor march, where supporters marched in and around their homes (kitchens, bathrooms etc) and posted the evidence online, and a visually stunning Penguin March (waddle?) with people in full sized penguin costumes, together with an appropriately bizarre penguin marching song!
“In reporting on the various pilgrimages to Paris, there was a moving account of the Italian pilgrimage which featured the former Filipino government’s Chief Climate negotiator who talked about the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, in which he lost friends and loved-ones.
“It was a sobering reminder of why we are all here and provided further motivation – if any is needed – to get stuck in and make sure that our time here over the next few days is spent effectively.”
Thanks Bill! Keep your updates coming! Makes me feel like I’m there!