Winnipeg activists head to mall on Black Friday to fight for action on climate change
Rally at Polo Park not meant to shame shoppers, says organizer, but to 'keep corporations accountable'
Dozens of protesters filled Winnipeg's Polo Park mall with the sound of chanting and singing as part of a fight against both consumerism and climate change on Black Friday.
"Consumerism is something that's part of a lot of our culture here in North America, and what happens is that we consume a lot more than we should," said Dominique Carriere, a member of Manitoba Youth for Climate Action who helped organize the event.
"A lot of the things we consume are made really unsustainably and unethically, and that is hurting our planet very much."
Young protesters marched through the mall starting just before noon, clearing a path through shoppers with a banner that read "Indigenous sovereignty is climate action."
Later, they gathered for a giant round dance in front of the Apple Store.
Carriere said the event wasn't about trying to shame shoppers looking for Black Friday deals.
"We don't want to make people feel bad for being put in the situation, because it wasn't necessarily their choice," Carriere said.
"[We need to] keep corporations accountable right now. They're the ones that are … taking control of so many things, and putting us down."
After the event at Polo Park, protesters headed to the University of Winnipeg for a clothing swap, intended to offer participants an alternative to shopping on Black Friday.
Events around the globe
The event was one of hundreds around the world that included student strikes and climate rallies.
Thousands of people in the U.S., Europe and Australia joined rallies Friday demanding more action on climate change, aiming to force political leaders to come up with immediate solutions at a United Nations climate summit set to take place in Madrid from Dec. 2 to 13.
At Polo Park on Friday, one participant, David Danin, said he wanted to be part of the Winnipeg event because he hopes to become a teacher.
"I'm going to be teaching the next generation, and I already hear how the next generation is going to fear the future," he said. "And that's not something, as an educator, I want to have."
Another young environmentalist, Maysam Horriat, said he has concerns about the planet's future. The 10-year-old Grade 5 student said he wants to see real change.
"I'm worried that our generation won't have a chance," he said. "[I'm] very concerned for the Earth and our generation. I feel like we need to be listened to more."
With files from The Associated Press