Fridays for Future protesters: “the battle is far from over”

1 November 2021 

Protesters gathered today in Glasgow to highlight how the Global South is bearing the brunt of the climate crisis as international climate negotiations commenced nearby. 

Members of Friday for Future International held a rally at Festival Park, which is located right beside the venue hosting the international COP26 climate conference, and a number of activists spoke of how their countries are experiencing the worst impacts of the crisis. 

The negotiations around the Paris rulebook are set to take place over the next two weeks and have begun with a high-level world leaders summit, which is set to conclude tomorrow.

“Uganda is known as a dumping site for all unwanted waste and yet all we can hear is the white noise of empty promises saying if we do this by 2050 – but what about now? What about 2021?” Ugandan climate activist Patience Nabukalu told the crowd. 

“The battle is far from over. This presents an opportunity to think differently,” she added. 

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg also spoke at the demonstration and deplored world leaders for their failure to address the climate emergency. 

“They are just politicians and people in power pretending to take our future seriously, pretending to take the present seriously of the people being affected already today by the climate crisis,” Greta Thunberg said. 

“Change is not going to come from inside there, that is not leadership. This is leadership – this is what leadership looks like,” she continued. 

She urged the crowd to call for, “no more to the blah blah blah, no more to the exploitation of people, nature and the planet”. 

South African-based climate activist Raeesah Noor Mahomed also addressed the demonstration and stressed that the climate crisis was, “rooted in colonisation. It is rooted in stealing. Stealing from indigenous people”. 

Raeesah Noor Mahomed addressing the Fridays for Future rally in Glasgow photo: Kayle Crosson

“Standing at an inflection point in world history” 

Meanwhile, opening statements were presented from world leaders at the neighbouring official venue for the COP26 opening ceremony. 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that the world was just “one minute to midnight” and that not getting serious about the crisis now would mean that it would be “too late for our children to get serious about it tomorrow.” 

“[Climate change] is destroying people’s lives and livelihoods every single day…but ladies and gentlemen, within the growing catastrophe, I believe there is an incredible opportunity. Not just for the United States, but for all of us. We’re standing at an inflection point in world history. We have the ability to invest in ourselves and build an equitable, clean energy future,” US President Joe Biden told conference attendees.