Lighting the candles for the Climate Emergency message outside St Martin-in-the-Fields
The all-night Climate Emergency Vigil started on the night of Saturday May 15th, just over a week after the election, with a Candlelit Procession down Whitehall from St Martin-in-the-Fields church, Trafalgar Square.
A crowd had assembled from 11.00 pm outside the church where "Climate SOS" was spelled out in candles, and numerous more candles were lit and placed in jars while flags and placards were distributed. Meanwhile inside the church itself a service organised by Christian Ecology was being held - there was a great turnout for it with nearly 100 attending, to listen to the Rev. Chris Brice, Social Justice advisor for London diocese and Mark Dowd from 'Operation Noah'.
At 12.00 midnight the candle-bearing masses streamed off past the great pillared facade of St Martin's behind the campaign's 7 foot square globe-in-a-greenhouse, the CCC banner and another banner held by a long row of vigil-goers spelling out "Climate Emergency". With candle-lights bobbing and flags waving the Procession made its way down Whitehall, past Downing Street with newly re-occupied No. 10 to finish at 'Old Palace Yard' just opposite the Houses of Parliament. Here the crowd assembled around the statue of George V to be rewarded by a surprise appearance and inspiring speech from John McDonnell MP (whose constituency includes the village that had been threatened by the proposed 3rd Heathrow runway).
|Jack Kelly||Steve Merrick|
More speeches followed from Alex Farrow from the UKYCC, Suzanne Dhaliwal and Melina Laboucan-Massimo from the Tar Sands campaign, Becky Luff from The Spartans, Phil Thornhill as campaign coordinator, Mark Dowd from Operation Noah, Peter Deane from Biofuelwatch, Suzanne Jeffery on 'a million climate jobs' , Chris from the Democracy Village and Duncan Law on behalf of Transition Towns - all admirably brief (!) and interpersed with musical interludes courtesy of Peter Deane, Chris Bluemel, Tony Black et al...
But the fun part was yet to come....