On Monday nine activists from Bilbao, Spain arrived in Ruddington as they walked through the Midlands on their journey from Portsmouth to Glasgow.
They have named the expedition Marcha a Glasgow to the international climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow.
Members of Extinction Rebellion Nottingham welcomed the walkers on Monday 11th, and provided an evening meal, accommodation and breakfast before the Spanish walkers set off on their long journey on Tuesday from Ruddington to Mansfield.
On Tuesday at 11am the walkers arrived in Old Market Square. They will be invited to play a game of ‘COP26 Human Skittles’. This is a comical take on a serious situation with people dressed in skittle costumes emblazoned with words relating to the causes of the climate and ecological crisis. People will be invited to join in by rolling the giant bowling ball towards the human skittles.
Etienne Stott, sports coach and Olympic gold medalist, 42, from Nottingham, says, “COP26 must lead us in a new direction, or everything we know will be changed by the devastating effects of the climate crisis. I want every person to know that their voice is important and they must use it to demand our politicians to take this crisis seriously. ”
The walkers, (including a teacher, an economist, a sociologist, a photographer and an admin assistant) arrived in Portsmouth by ferry on September 28th and have been walking twenty miles a day. They will reach Glasgow ahead of the COP26 meeting, where world leaders will be making vital decisions on the climate crisis.
“We believe it is 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 walker José Martinez, who is retired.
Their journey has already taken them though Coventry, Leicester, Loughborough and they will be heading north from Nottingham through Sherwood and Arnold on their way towards Mansfield and Chesterfield.
The walkers will be joining local climate activists along the route, speaking at rallies, schools, and universities, and meeting with local councillors, dignitaries. For the final stage, they will join local actress Tanya Myers and the Camino to COP walkers and other groups who have been walking from London and Bristol since September.
Maribel Roldón, also retired, summed up the strength of conviction of the group: “Science tells us 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.”
“Some 11,000 scientists have warned that ‘climate change is widespread, fast and intensifying’, and that if governments do not act now the people of the world face ‘untold suffering’.