On the 6 November we will join together with people from all across the world to take part in mass mobilisations demanding world leaders do more to tackle climate change and nature loss, the Global Day of Action. To get you excited we asked RSPB staff members to share their experiences attending previous marches. 

Why march? 

Marches have been a trusted campaigning tactic for generations. Think about the big social change movements in the UK and abroad over the past 100 years, all have included marches and protests as part of their campaigning. Marches give us a way of coming together and physically showing the strength of feeling for change. 

Why now? 

From 31 October to 12 November the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) is being held in Glasgow. It will see world leaders from across the globe coming together to tackle climate change. Is an important international moment — setting and raising international ambition on climate change and emission reduction targets. But in order to solve the climate crisis, we must also tackle the nature crisis. 

The UK hosting COP26 gives us a unique and additional opportunity to engage with it and emphasise the importance of including nature in the climate conversation.  

Join us at the Global Day of Action and show public demand for our policy asks: keeping global temperature rise to below 1.5, recognising the critical role of nature, and committing to greater nature protection and restoration. 

Allie McGregor – Community and Social Media Executive  

At the 2019 Global Climate Strike in Edinburgh the energy, positivity and hope radiated from the crowds. I’m sure, like myself, many people there were experiencing anger and frustration that had brought them there but every placard, every chant, and every cheer had such a strong sense of determination about it that it was impossible not to feel truly moved. 

The march seemed to stretch forever. There were seas of people ahead of me and seas behind. I’ve now heard estimates that there may have been more than 20,000 people there which is honestly mind-boggling. When I arrived home that evening I could have kept scrolling through all the messages and images from across the globe for hours. What we are facing is truly frightening, but we are all coming together to find solutions and that is powerful. 

Krissy Le Huray - Campaigner  

Being a passionate campaigner who suffers with crowd anxiety can hold you back from attending gatherings and marches.  However, when I attended a climate strike in Bristol a few years ago, I found I wasn't as uneasy as I'd expected.  Being surrounded by thousands of compassionate, peaceful protestors, showing solidarity for one another and the natural world was extremely uplifting. 

As soon as I hopped on my train, placard in hand, I spotted lots of people dotted around the cabin also holding placards and banners.  There's an almost instant sense of kinship as you spot one another and smile, knowing you're standing side by side.  I joined a group of people on the walk into the city and, by the time I met my friend at the 'starting line', we were surrounded by new friends and jumped on board to help them carry their banner the length of the march.  It was a sense of community unlike I've ever felt before and I honestly just had fun.  I left feeling fulfilled and hopeful.  I would recommend that experience to anyone. 

Lucy Hodson - Nature Recovery Campaigner, RSPB England 

Being a nature nerd and wildlife lover can sometimes feel quite isolating - it's not as popular a hobby as others, and sometimes you feel like the odd one out. Attending a march for nature, like the People's Walk for Wildlife in 2019, made me feel so much less alone! The march was such an energising and motivating experience despite the pouring rain! 

Meeting like-minded folk for a common cause helps you see the power in numbers, and imagine an alternative future where things are different. I met people carrying giant bats, folks dressed as frogs and black grouse, and heard incredible young people speak passionately about our natural world. The whole day left me feeling motivated to take action, and plough energy into this ongoing movement.

Natasha Yorke-Edgell - Head of Campaigns 

The first organisation I ever campaigned with was Amnesty International when I was at University. The first 'march' I ever organised was a walk from our university campus down to the town centre in Exeter, where we held a vigil for the lives lost in the war in Syria. It was a moving experience not only because we were mourning for Syrian citizens, but because it felt like even when you were thousands of miles away from the people who were suffering, you were doing your little bit to draw attention to their experiences and call for change. It was also an opportunity to meet inspiring people I would never have met otherwise, who encouraged me to follow my dreams in making the world a better place. This march and vigil was my first taste of how good it feels to take action for things that you care about in society, and it led to me joining lots of other campaign actions, every time I joined an action with other people it inspired me that things didn't just happen to us, we had the power to do something about it. And I never stopped. 

Nick Hawkes - Campaigns Communications Officer, RSPB Scotland 

Whilst I haven’t been able to go to many marches, the thing that sticks with me from the ones I have attended is the atmosphere. Whilst being surrounded by lots of people might be a bit overwhelming for some people, I wouldn’t let that put you off. There’s a sense of excitement and community that makes you feel welcome, like you’ve known the people you’re walking with for years and you can often strike up a conversation with a random person and find that you have loads in common.   

I think that the Glasgow march is going to be a fantastic opportunity to connect with people from across Scotland and around the world – something that a lot of us have missed over the last two years. 

One piece of advice that I would give to first time marchers is to bring waterproofs and a warm drink. Just remember it’s November and Glasgow, so whilst the rain probably won’t dampen the spirits of the crowd there’s a good chance you might get wet. 

We’re so excited for the Global Day of Action on 6th November and hope to see you there. Keep an eye out for an email next week explaining how you can join us.

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