Club to hold climate rally next week

QBACC to march from campus to City Hall with students, faculty

QBACC climate change protests on campus. 
Credit: 
Supplied by QBACC
Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change (QBACC) has organized a community rally on Mar. 15 to show support for action on climate change in Kingston.  
 
The event will start at noon around the intersection of University Avenue and Union Street, and over the course of two hours will make its way up Union to Princess, then back south until it reaches City Hall. 
 
QBACC has been advocating for increased awareness around climate change for more than 15 years, including sending students to protests in Ottawa and Toronto. In recent years, they’ve expanded their outreach and fossil fuel divestment campaign.
 
Julia Weder, co-chair of Divest Queen’s and ArtSci ’19, and Nick Lorraway, co-chair of QBACC and ArtSci ’20, spoke to The Journal about the event, explaining at least 22 professors are expected to attend. 
 
“We’ve got more outreach this semester than we’ve ever had,” Lorraway said. “Everyone I’ve talked to is, like, ‘I’m going and my entire team’s going.’ A lot of people are tired of sitting at home, and they want to go out to show they expect climate action to happen.” 
 
Lorraway also said that even though the group has planned rallies before, they expect Kingston’s turnout out to be different and possibly the organization’s biggest. 
 
In attendance, they hope to see Kingston locals, educators, and news media to help facilitate the message beyond the day’s events. 
 
“I think this one’s different from past actions, too, because it’s incorporating the Kingston community and working with local groups like 350 Kingston and The Kingston Climate Hub to reach out to the entire city and surroundings,” Weder said. “It’s a general call to action to everybody who has a stake in this crisis.”
 
The funds QBACC used for posters and advertisements were provided by the AMS, but outreach efforts were completed by volunteers, many within coordinating groups. 
 
The rally’s purpose, according to Lorraway and Weder, is to centre the importance of climate change efforts to preserving the city they love, rather than protesting lack of effort. 
 
Weder also said she wants to host small collaborative sessions to continue the momentum of the climate change conversation before graduating at the end of the academic year.
 
With an estimated turnout of over 200 people, she hopes environmentally-minded individuals can meet at the rally and strike up a long-term relationship to achieve change.
 
“That’s the really empowering thing about working with QBACC: the people around you are truly dedicated and prioritizing this issue in their lives,” Weder said. “We do divestment. We do environmental activism. It’s a life purpose.” 

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