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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Climate Activists Hold Demonstration in Owen Sound

Owen Sound | by Matt Hermiz  

Protesters gather at city hall, march the streets of downtown in call for action on climate change.

Climate activists took to the streets of Owen Sound yesterday as part of a wave of demonstrations in cities across the country.

Kids, teenagers, adults, parents and grandparents made up the more than 200 people that gathered outside of Owen Sound City Hall to call for action on climate change late Friday afternoon.

The activists touted signs with messages such as "declare a climate emergency" or "take action now", and even displayed an array of paper-based tombstones with several different birth years and the same death year: 2050.

Behind a chant of "no more coal, no more oil, keep your carbon in the soil" the group of protesters shifted their demonstration away from city hall for a march. They headed down the sidewalks of 2nd Avenue East and proceeded onto 10th Street, before starting back towards city hall on 1st Avenue East.

Jade Filteau, a 26-year-old from Guelph who sometimes works in Owen Sound, says it was his first time protesting. He simply wants to see more people's views shift to care about the environment.

"We seem to not worry about the world and think that everything might just be alright in the chaos," Filteau says. "I know a lot of human beings that can definitely shape up their lives and start caring about the world a little more."

Dale Pond, a mother from Markdale, says she attended the climate strike because she thinks things can be done better to help the planet. She agrees with some of the chants that were sounding aloud among the activists denouncing the continued use of fossil fuels for energy, but acknowledges that can't happen overnight.

"Obviously it can't be done right away. But, we can certainly start doing it. " Pond says. "We don't need (fossil fuels). We've got all these other things we can use. We've got wind, we've got solar. And we still ignore it!"

Pond says she's always been concerned about the environment and seeing kids take up activism for this cause helped motivate her to speak up.

"It's about time somebody did, since the adults aren't doing it necessarily," she says. "And we'd better start listening. Because it's a big movement happening."


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