Photo Credit: XR Bristol
On the last day of five days of protests in Cardiff, we turned our focus to the wider issues of climate and ecological justice, joining a march organised by a new coalition of campaigners and organisations from across South Wales, who have come together to create unity across Welsh activism.
To mark the launch of Justice Now, activists took part in a socially distanced march from Cardiff City Hall to the Senedd, calling for global social, racial, economic and climate justice.
Along the way, the marchers stopped at the UK Visa Centre on Newport Road to Take the Knee with a minute’s silence for Abdulfatah Hamdallah (the Sudanese man who drowned in the Channel), Mercy Baguma (the starving refugee who died next to her baby in Glasgow), and all those impacted by the Home Office’s Hostile Environment policies.
At the end of the march XR Families hosted family friendly fun in a safe space in front of the Senedd.
Speeches at the start and end of the march included impassioned addresses by campaigners for an independent inquiry into the death of Christopher Kapessa, Welsh Youth Strike 4 Climate, Undod, and Save the Northern Meadows, among others.
Some of the organisers of the Justice Now movement commented on why they’re involved:
“Anti-racist groups working in collaboration with XR and other environmental campaigners have the opportunity to show the very clear links between climate crisis, colonialism, refugees, and racism. Local toxic pollution levels affect BAME communities the hardest, and our emissions and foreign policies cause millions of climate refugees to leave their homes. In Wales, we need stronger pressure from our government on Westminster, arguing against racist Home Office policy and the hostile environment.”
Hussein Said, Stand Up to Racism Cardiff and Black Lives Matter Cardiff & Vale
“We need a war on poverty, not a war on the poor. We’re marching on Saturday to protect lives, livelihoods, income, food, housing, civil and human rights. No return to the old ‘normal’.”
Adam Johannes, Cardiff People’s Assembly
“Trans people are more at risk of loneliness, self harm and domestic violence, and this is greatly exacerbated for trans people who are BAME, disabled or neurodivergent. We fight for the most marginalised and we support and uplift their voices.”
Onyx Korn, South Wales Trans and Nonbinary Mutual Aids
“We are supporting this march because we need to see immediate justice for those in the housing sector. COVID19 has made many of our members’ lives precarious.”
Lyn Eynon, ACORN Cardiff
“The climate and ecological crisis is affecting people right now, locally and globally. Marginalised communities are far more exposed to its impacts: climate breakdown will exacerbate existing inequalities.
We are joining Justice Now to show solidarity with groups already doing amazing work, and hope that by pulling together, those in power won’t be able to ignore the injustices in the world any longer.”
David Kilner, Extinction Rebellion Cardiff
Covid & Public Safety Statement
All of XR Bristol’s actions are designed to be inclusive, safe and family-friendly, with the movement taking every precaution to ensure the protests adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.
All supporters have been asked to come with masks and hand sanitiser, and to observe social distancing at all times. There will also be on-site sanitation stations, extra face masks available, and markings for safe distancing in the main stage area. All gatherings will take place outdoors with safety stewards onsite to support and promote COVID-safety around the clock.