Yesterday was International Day of Arctic Action…. a long name, I know, but an important day for Greenpeace volunteers around the world. It was the biggest global action day ever and over 2000 volunteers from more than 20 countries took to the streets and spread the message: Save the Arctic!
Of course, we couldn’t miss such an opportunity, so for the first time in history (as far as I know, I didn’t check) the West London group joined forces with the South West London and set up camp on Exhibition Road just outside the Natural History Museum. We had the great honour to be joined by Polly the polar bear who wanted to inform the people of London first-hand about the grave danger her faraway home, the arctic, is facing:
The big oil companies, like Shell, see the ever melting sea ice not as a warning sign but as an opportunity to head further north to the Arctic to drill for even more oil, even though an Arctic oil spill would be almost impossible to clean up. And that is not all: Unsustainable, industrial-scale fishing fleets from around the world are making their way up north to plunder the fish. This is why Greenpeace is demanding the declaration of a global sanctuary around the North Pole and want the UN to designate it a protected area for all life on Earth.
This is a hugely important campaign and we were all there to support our polar bear friend. Exhibition Road and the museums were really busy and people in general seemed very supportive of our cause, many of them had already heard of the campaign. At peak times I counted 18 volunteers from the two networks who were all spreading the word and were signing up arctic defenders left, right and centre.
Charlotte from South West London even brought along homemade Arctic cupcakes which proved to be a huge success not only with the kids. After around 3 hours of campaigning we ran out of leaflets and decided to pack up and some of us made their way to Shell HQ at the South bank for a final group pic.
All in all I had a great time in South Kensington and it was a lot of fun to get together with another network. I would like to thank everybody who came along yesterday to help out, I am very much looking forward to the next joint event!
If you want to get active in your area you can find your local group here: http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/groups
For a selection of other accounts of Greenpeace campaigning on Arctic day please see
- Save the Arctic comes to London en masse - by Bromley Greenpeace
- Shell protests in Brighton - by Brighton Greenpeace
- Save the Arctic - the Arctic scroll launcg - by Berkshire Greenpeace
- Polar bear woos shoppers in Liverpool - by Merseyside Greenpeace
- London has spoken, protect the Arctic - by Southwest London Greenpeace
Or please visit the Greenpeace active blogroll for new posts as they come in.