Tens of Thousands of People Walk for Climate in France

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Banners demonstrators calling to fight against global warming, during the march for the climate

Tens of thousands of people take part in climate marches, responding in particular to a citizen call to make climate issues a priority.

Tens of thousands of people are taking part in climate marches in France Saturday , responding in particular to a citizen callto make climate issues a priority of the government , after the resignation of the Minister for the ecological transition Nicolas Hulot .

“Manu course, the sea goes up”

In Paris, with slogans like: “Do not let us burn,” “earth + error = terror,” or placards denouncing the “policy of small steps” pinned by the former minister, a crowd of all ages, including many families gathered at the Place de l’Hotel de Ville, before rushing to the Place de la République.

“Under the cobblestones, the beach Nicolas Hulot: thank you to him”, or “Cours Manu, the sea rises”, proclaim other panels, in a crowd where are also distinguishable drawings of children.

“It’s amazing, people are at the rendezvous,” said Clemence Dubois, campaign manager in France of the US NGO 350.org, who helped organise the march.

“This is the first time in a long time that such a massive event is taking place in favor of the environment.”

“A question of survival”

This march was launched by 27-year-old Maxime Lelong, a training journalist and future dad, on the very evening of the resignation of Nicolas Hulot, who had complained of a lack of popular mobilisation around climate issues.

“I feel that there is a real momentum that has been created, we must save ourselves, it is a question of survival,” said the young man. “I’m going to be a dad (of a son) in December, I want him to have a liveable planet,” he said.

“If we are 40 000 people (actually present, ed), it’s great,” he had hoped before the start of the event, while more than 116 000 people had said on Facebook interested in his “March for the climate”.

Similar events were organised throughout the country.

Several thousand people have traveled 3 km in Bordeaux to the site where is held the festival Climax, dedicated to eco-mobilization.

In Marseille, about 2500 people according to the organizers, 700 according to the police, marched in a happy and family atmosphere, in the presence of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of La France Insoumise.

In the West, between 3,000 and 5,000 people (according to police and organizers) gathered in Rennes and 1200 in Nantes.Several hundred marched in Normandy cities like Rouen, Caen and Le Havre.

Hulot’s encouragement

In Strasbourg, 3800 people, according to the police, marched from 15h. Alongside placards for the defense of the climate, proclaiming in particular “For a green Alsace”, “Flambe the pie, not the earth”, “Biodiversity I love you”, the demonstration was also those of the opponents of the Great West Bypass (GCO ) of Strasbourg, motorway ring road project to which the prefecture has just given the go-ahead.

“When they cut the last tree, polluted the last stream, fished the last fish, then they will realise that the money is not eaten,” predicted a sign held by Perrine, Colmarienne of 33 years.

Participants in the march for the climate, Place de l'Hotel de Ville in Paris, Saturday, September 8, 2018.
Participants in the march for the climate, Place de l’Hotel de Ville in Paris, Saturday, September 8, 2018. (© AFP / Philippe LOPEZ)

Nicolas Hulot encouraged participants: “Committing to climate and biodiversity is the only modernity. Citizens who mobilize everywhere in France and around the world have the power to drive change for the future of our children. Continue to make your voice heard! He tweeted.

“Proud to be with tens of thousands of people who make #MarcheForTheClimat the biggest step ever made in France for the climate and the planet,” tweeted Pascal Canfin, CEO of WWF.

“Good news” for Benjamin Griveaux

Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux has preferred to publish a forum on Facebook where he believes that these marches are “good news”.

“As a citizen and as a spokesperson for the government, I am delighted to see associations, NGOs, but especially thousands of French people mobilize to defend our heritage, the one that humanity shares.”

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