Hundreds gather in Montreal to mark Global Day of Climate Action

Protesters take part in a demonstration calling for climate and social justice in Montreal, Friday, March 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

About 300 people gathered at Montreal’s Jeanne-Mance Park on Friday to mark the Global Day of Climate Action.

The day is part of the Fridays for Future movement which encourages children around the world to join a global online school strike on Friday.

During the protest, climate change activists gathered to demand politicians take action to confront the crisis.

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According to Shi Tao Zhang, one of the march organizers, there are four demands:

  • Achieving carbon neutrality by 2030
  • Decolonization and giving Indigenous people their land back
  • Status for all migrants and refugees
  • Defunding and ultimately abolishing the police

“There cannot be climate justice without social justice,” said Zhang, a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion.

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Hundreds of Montrealers marched during the annual Global Day of Climate Action. Friday March 19, 2021. Gloria Henriquez / Global News

“During the pandemic, it’s become clearer than ever than marginalized communities … are the first to suffer from the pandemic and also from the over-policing that has begun with the curfew and with the mask mandate.”

Read more: ‘We will not be bystanders’: Greta Thunberg tells hundreds of thousands at Montreal climate march

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Simon-Pierre Lauzon, a substitute teacher and member of Socialist Alternative, believes social and climate issues are “the same problem.”

“It’s the problem of the government that is only active for the economy, for profits, for companies and owners,” Lauzon said. “Whereas workers, people who rent, people like us, students, we’re always getting the short end of the stick.”

Activists say the pandemic and its restrictions slowed down their agenda but added that once restrictions are lifted, they plan to be “more active than ever,” Zhang said.

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