'Shoe strike' in uptown Waterloo a quiet demonstration for climate action

A year ago, hundreds of people marched to uptown Waterloo as part of a climate action protest. This year, organizers planned a shoe strike, with pairs of shoes, boots and other footwear being left in the square to make a silent statement on the need to do more to help the environment.

Organizers of event called on regional officials to lower emissions by 50 per cent by 2030

Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky, centre, visited the Shoe Strike for Climate Justice Friday morning in uptown Waterloo. (Dave Jaworsky/Twitter/@DaveJaworsky)

Pairs of shoes and boots filled the square in uptown Waterloo on Friday in a silent demonstration for climate action.

Nearly a year ago, on Sept. 28, 2019, hundreds of people stood in the same spot with signs, chanting and listening to speakers as part of the Global Climate Strike.

This year, with COVID-19 restrictions keeping people apart, organizers of last year's event staged the shoe strike instead "to bring attention to the urgency of this continuing global crisis."

The shoe strike was held Friday morning, with the footwear set out later being donated to people who will be living unsheltered this winter, the organizers said.

The organizers also called on Waterloo region's cities, townships and regional government to commit to reducing the emissions by a minimum 50 per cent by 2030.

"The next ten years are crucial in deciding what the rest of the century will look like in terms of climate change. We are in our final window to avoid the truly worst impacts of climate change and uphold the commitments we made in the Paris Accord," Andres Fuentes said in a release.