‘The Climax of our Campaigning Year’ – and what a ‘Climax’ it was!

The weather forecast was dire, but the turn-out (641 to be precise) gratifying, and the experience memorable! Even the weather relented for us! If you simply couldn’t come, that’s a pity, because you missed a real treat. If you didn’t come, because you simply couldn’t care less… [comment deleted by web manager. ☺]

However, what was more gratifying than the total number present, was the mix of people participating, with good numbers of families with children and lots of students.

As is the norm with such gatherings of ours, it was characterised by community spirit and good humour, combined with a determination to arouse our leaders from their shameful lethargy and prevarication to take the actions which every sane person knows are required, right now! And there was anger too, because nations have taken so inordinately long to get to the point where a half-serious international agreement is on the cards

NE-CAP Tamin

Tamin Rahman, with Chi Onwurah MP (left) and Irim Ali (Photo by John Whalley)

What is not always the norm was a series of addresses at the Civic Centre which were as good as they were short! They were given by City Councillor Irim Ali, Shirley Ford, Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah and the remarkable 11 year old, Tamim Rahman, followed by a final, rousing blast by one of NE-CAP’s Patrons, John Grundy. We also received messages of support from Nick Brown MP and Catherine McKinnell MP.

NE-CAP Group

NE-CAP and Tearfund supporters from Whitley Bay Baptist Church (Veronica Golding, NE-CAP)

The Parade was a ‘coalition effort’, and all the better for that! NE-CAP was one of the main organisers, securing the services of John Grundy, sponsorship at national level by Cafod and Tearfund – and the support of many supporters. It was one of 2,300 events world-wide, in more than 170 countries and involving hundreds of thousands of people.

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John Grundy addressing the Newcastle crowd (Photo by Kristinne Sanz, NE-CAP)

John Grundy, the NorthEast’s architectural guru, broadcaster and inimitable, all round ‘Good Egg’ – and one of NE-CAP’s Patrons, said:

“I commend widespread support for the ‘Family Parade & Climate March’ on Sunday and I’m delighted and honoured by the invitation to participate and contribute to it! It really is high time the general public made it abundantly clear they want our leaders to give this issue the priority it deserves. Nothing, but nothing, is as important as this.”

Children leading the parade (Kristinne Sanz, NE-CAP)

Children leading the parade (Kristinne Sanz, NE-CAP)

Part of the crowd at the Civic Centre (John Whalley)

Part of the crowd at the Civic Centre (John Whalley)


Our thanks and congratulations to our North East ‘Paris Champions’!

Chris Myers (below) undertook the ‘Pilgrimage2Paris’, a 200-mile, two week-long hike from London to Paris, arriving just before the Conference opened. He sent a text (see below) to the Parade via his wife, Clare

Hannah Jack & Veronica Golding, at Family Paradewho took part in the Parade, and extracts of it were read out to the crowd.

Hannah Jack (right, with Veronica Golding) mobilised the support of students  for our ‘Family Climate Parade’ in Newcastle and, after participating in that, took herself off, by coach, to join the thousands of young people on the streets of Paris calling peacefully for the conference delegates to ‘do the deal’!

Well done, both of you – you did us proud!



Chris Myers (Cond)

‘I send you greetings from Paris where along with 30 other pilgrims we have walked the 207 miles from London. Here we have met with other pilgrims who have travelled from all over the world to demand action on climate change.

Today, like yourselves, people in cities across the world are marching to also demand action on climate change – we are all connected by this common goal. Climate change is the challenge of our generation and we must not shirk it.

At the petition handover to the UN’s Christiana Figueres,  Archbishop Thabo of Southern Africa said, “We can do it together, we must do it together and we will do it together”. Hence we may dare to hope that COP21 will be a defining event for us and future generations.

Our pilgrimage was a walk of hope for a better and more just world, we send you our very best wishes and thanks for joining the march today – together let’s make change for the good of our common home’.

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