Banbury supporters welcome climate campaigners walking to COP26 in Glasgow
The group are walking from Portsmouth to the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow
On September 28, nine people waved goodbye to friends and supporters in Bilbao, northern Spain, and embarked on the ferry to Portsmouth to start their 29 days of continuous walking, averaging 20 miles each day.
On Friday October 8 they passed through Banbury.
The goal is Glasgow, host to the COP26 summit in November, where world leaders will meet to decide how they can cut carbon emissions tackle climate change.
“We believe it’s our duty to make this small symbolic sacrifice if it can help raise awareness about all that is at stake in Glasgow. It is our future that is on the line,” explained José Martinez, activist from Zaragoza.
In Banbury the walkers they were welcomed by Banbury Extinction Rebellion, Quakers, and other walkers and cyclists. They arrived at 9am, en route from Deddington, where they were given accommodation by local supporters, to Princethorpe (near Rugby).
After a brief halt at Banbury Cross, for photos and to pack away the lunches provided by Banbury supporters, the walkers carried on along the Southam Road. Motorists tooted their support, and walkers from Banbury accompanied them as far as Little Bourton.
Nicky Brooks, co-ordinator with UK supporters, said that the group has been heartened by the kindness they have met with so far; the highlight, perhaps, being the dry socks provided by people in Portsmouth, after a torrential downpour.
“It has been a truly inspiring experience to talk to people throughout Britain, asking for their support and being given so much,” said Carlos Buj, from Zaragoza, “So many groups have shown incredible solidarity, which is heart-lifting.”
“We have come prepared for very bad weather,” said Luis Alejos from Bilbao. “The last stages in particular, through Northumbria and Scotland will be tough. But we are convinced that the changes we need can only be achieved through people becoming engaged, and mass mobilization.”
For the final stage, the Marchers will join with other groups, including ‘Camino to COP’, who have been walking from London and Bristol since September, and a group of activists from Poland, who will be joined by German and Scandinavian walkers.
Maribel Roldón summed up the strength of feelings of the group: “I believe that the future of humanity depends on what happens at the Climate Change Summit (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021. It’s our very last chance to take effective action.”
The project started in Zaragoza, Spain, and is co-organized by Extinction Rebellion, Ecologistas en Acción and the Alianza por la Emergencia Climática.
Funding has come from Spanish climate groups and many individuals. The walkers will be fundraising along their route to finance their journeys home.
The project is supported in the UK by local groups of Extinction Rebellion, Friends of the Earth, Green Party, Climate Action Networks, Labour party members, Greenpeace and Just Transition; and also by local churches of a range of denominations, Quaker groups, and a Sikh temple.
Visit https://marcha-a-glasgow.net/ for their route and a daily blog of the group’s progress.