Die-ins and calls for action in Kelowna, Kamloops legs of Global Climate Strike - InfoNews

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Die-ins and calls for action in Kelowna, Kamloops legs of Global Climate Strike

Kelowna had a die in today for the Global Climate Strike.
September 20, 2019 - 4:58 PM

KELOWNA - Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue was brought to a standstill for one minute today, Sept. 20, as participants in the global climate strike lay down for a “die-in.”

The car-stopping and honk-prompting act of civil disobedience was led by Ana Ciocoiu. She’s from a group called Extinction Rebellion, which had partnered with Kelowna Climate Save and Kelowna Youth Climate Action to put the rally together, and the die-in capped off a couple of hours of speeches and rallying in front of city hall.

During her turn at the microphone Ciocoiu, like the speakers before her, implored the hundreds gathered to consider acting now on behalf of the environment and demand world leaders gathering at a UN climate summit adopt urgent measures to avert environmental catastrophe.

“I’m not here to give a message of hope,” Ciocoiu said. “We’ve gone too far to be hopeful, but we can be strong.”

A protestor at Kelowna's Global Climate Strike rally wore a symbolic mask.
A protestor at Kelowna's Global Climate Strike rally wore a symbolic mask.

Making environmentally conscientious choices is something that many of those gathered have taken to heart long ago. 

“We base our entire lifestyle on creating the least harm to the planet,” said Kevin Trowbridge, who was at the event with his wife Katherine and two children.

Katherine said she brought her children there because she feels a sense of urgency that was amplified when they entered the world.

“I think this quote from Greta Thunberg says it best,” Katherine said, pointing to the sign with the now-famous line; “I want you to act as if your house is on fire because it is.”

“What we are facing is an immediate problem — it’s urgent and no one is taking it seriously in politics. But people are starting to rise up and create change.”

Katherine and Kevin have been vegans for 20 years and while veganism is hardly new, there are more people who are adapting to that lifestyle for global reasons. Others aren't swayed.

“When I mention animal agriculture leading cause of climate crisis, people are unaware or they slough it off,” Katherine said.

Kevin and Isadora Trowbridge took part in the Global Climate Strike in Kelowna.
Kevin and Isadora Trowbridge took part in the Global Climate Strike in Kelowna.

“The UN has come out and said it’s the number one cause of climate change… it causes deforestation and compromises water quality and uses huge amount of food we could feed other people with.”

Candidates for the NDP, Green and Marijuana parties for both Kelowna-Lake Country and Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola were at the Okanagan rally.

All took a moment to speak and to point out that none of the Liberal or Conservative candidates were there, implying that it was a representation of where they stood on environmental issues.

It was a similar situation in Kamloops, which held their strike at the same time as Kelowna. Iain Currie, the Green party candidate for the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo and Kira Cheeseborough of the Animal Protection party were the only candidates in attendance. 

That was bothersome to attendee Marianne Ferguson who said she was disappointed by the lack of support from politicians and school officials.

“I'm out here to support children and support the earth,” Ferguson said.

“I’m really disappointed that Cathy McLeod isn't here and that more of the people who are running aren't here to support our kids. And I'm also really disappointed that the schools aren't supporting their kids to come out. I'm disappointed that my nieces didn't even know about it. I think its really important that the schools at least support it.”

Cara Humphreys was at the Kamloops climate strike to advocate for a better future for her child.
Cara Humphreys was at the Kamloops climate strike to advocate for a better future for her child.

Currie said he was there not as a candidate, however, but as a person concerned for the well-being of future generations.

“What worries all of us here is that they are not going to have a safe, prosperous world," Currie said.

"They are going to be dealing with the increasing effects and impacts of the climate crisis and they're not going to have air to breathe and trees and grass and sunshine to enjoy and they are going to be battling floods and fires and record heatwaves and essentially not enjoying all the things that I have been incredibly fortunate to have had benefited from  while living in this area.”

High school students left school for the day to protest for better environmental policy.
High school students left school for the day to protest for better environmental policy.

 The Kamloops event was organized by 17-year-old Kate Nanson, and who says her fourth climate strike has brought in a bigger crowd than ever before.

“There were all sorts of people, people who were there maybe for their grandchildren, because they want to support them even though they might not be around for all the changes that are going to come,” Nanson said. “There were also some parents there with their young children that came to support it.”


To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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