Climate Rally held in Derry as part of worldwide protest

Climate activists gathered in Waterloo Place, followed by a parade around the city centre in a rally for ‘Climate Justice’ in light of COP26.

By Daire Ní Chanáin
Saturday, 6th November 2021, 6:14 pm

The protest was organised by The North West Climate Coalition and was part of a world-wide climate protest in response to world leaders gathering at COP26 in Glasgow. There were speakers from ten different organisations, who raised issues that are caused as a result of climate change.

Maeve O’Neill was one of the organisers behind the protest and she lead the procession around the city. Speaking at the event, she said, “The state of the environment here on this island is an absolute mess and COP26 has been a failure. They are allowing loopholes which allow corporate polluters to continue to make profits from polluting and from the climate disaster. We are being lied to and they are going to make superficial changes with the business of exploitation of workers and of nature by elites for profit. This has been the most exclusionary COP ever. The voices have not been heard of the most affected people from the most affected places in this world. And the poorest people in this world are those who suffer the worst from climate disasters here and across the world, and it’s going to get worse. That’s why we need to open our borders to all climate refugees.

“Corporations are the new imperial power. Plundering communities to exploit and profit, particularly in the poorest parts of this world. They’re addicted to capitalism and capitalism is incompatible with topping climate disaster.

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“What we need is a real alternative to keep all the fossil fuels in the ground. We want 100% renuable energy. We need a system that expands rail and bus pubic transport that is free for all. To finally clean up Mubouy dump. We need to stop toxic mining here and everywhere. We need to provide a robust transition for all and safeguard the wellbeing of future generations.

“This is the real alternative but to win this we need a people-power revolution. We need to overthrow the oil and gas billionaires. Overthrow the elites and the political establishments and replace them with a real democracy, without borders, with worker and community control.

“The great revolutionary James Connolly says, “The demands are moderate, we only want the earth.” We’re here because we want the earth. Lets march today and organise for climate justice. People-power uprising across our island and across our world.

“Whose planet is it? It’s our planet. Whose future? It’s our future”

Marie Walker, Billy Hutchenson and Emma Masterson at the Climate Rally in Waterloo Place

Niall McCarroll from Unison Community and voluntary branch said, “We have reached a tipping point, a code red. And unless we as individuals demand a new way, a new beginning, then the future is stark. We are stronger than any government. Bigger than any corporation. We should never question the power of the individual. Without individuals there never could be or will be revolution. It’s time for a global uprising. It’s time to save ourselves and save our planet. We must change the system.”

Mary McGuigan from The Gathering said,”I am delighted to be here today. My main reason for being here is because I care about my health. I care about the health of my children, my grandchildren, my family and my community. I care about your health. It’s a myth that we have infinite resources in this planet. It’s a myth that our planet earth will survive or that we will survive on it if we do not change our economical and political systems and protect our planet from burning.”

Protesters as the Climate rally
Maeve O'Neill, Mary Durkan and Ruth O'Callaghan at the climate rally