Why they come every Friday with their signs and banners

Above: A Facebook Livestream recording from when the persistent Fridays for Future Geelong
group marked its 200th action with a “sign exhibition” at the city’s waterfront.

Members of Fridays for Future Geelong reflect – as individuals – on why they do what they do every Friday – so far 200 Fridays and counting – in front of the city hall.

Our group’s passion and raison d’etre is the health of our planet and the climate emergency we face.

Greta Thunberg convinced me to act every Friday. Her single action has empowered millions around the world to act. It was through total frustration at lack of real action by our representatives that propelled me to stand up in public despite my fear. The climate emergency is the most urgent crisis in the history of our planet. To get out and talk with people was better than feeling impotent at home.

Caroline Danaher

It is not just our representatives that must change. Too often we see the land as the location where we live and work, or we see it as a commodity. It is only when the majority will see the earth as part of our very being that we will learn to protect and cherish it. Our signs confront these issues every week.

As a group of diverse individuals we meet weekly to share this with others and to use our creative skills to empower us in a time of deep distress. We hope we inspire others to act in whatever way they can, because act we all must.
~ Caroline Danaher

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Sharon Bush

Looking after the environment should be a natural calling for everyone, because everything we do in life rests on a safe climate. It was not hard for me to step forward when I heard about a grandmother sitting in front of a political office with signs similar to Greta Thunberg. Everyone knew about climate change, though finding the right group where your ideals find similar understanding can be more difficult.

I personally found Fridays For Future with their narrative of persistence presence very visible with that weekly continuum. There is nothing more disturbing than watching our wild green planet; its animals and people suffer with the catastrophic effects of climate change. It was equally upsetting watching the wheels of politics moving so much slower than the damaging fires, storms, floods and rising sea levels.

I believe activism on a friendly level talking to locals and offering solutions is vital. Solutions are the most important thing we have to offer as a group. Practical measures can be writing emails to politicians, participating in events, reducing fossil fuel use at home, solar panels, electric vehicles, careful purchasing, eating healthy local vegetables, planting trees, though this is unaffordable to many. We can only do what is right for our families. Re-wilding ourselves to the understanding that we are not separate from nature, but are part of it, is the key to keeping global warming to a minimum.
~ Sharon Bush

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“I like coming to Fridays every week when l can as it is such a powerful witness to people that we are not finished. We have more to say to hold people of power to account.”
~ Bishop Peter Danaher

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It may seem strange to some people why we keep appearing every Friday on the corner of Gheringhap and Little Malop Street with our signs and banners and maybe it is, but it is certainly no stranger than the way most politicians around the world (and a large proportion of the populace) continue to deny or are seemingly oblivious to the impending threat of global catastrophe brought on by climate change.

I would say the main reason we keep doing so is because we hope to keep reminding people about the threat to our human civilisation as well as innumerable other species if we don’t take drastic action immediately. People need to be continually reminded otherwise the pressures of daily life, financial problems, caring for offspring etc. tend to make what doesn’t seem an immediate threat, fade into the background.

We are like the proverbial frog, that will immediately leap out of a pot of boiling water but will stay in one in which the water gradually gets hotter – until it is too late!
~ Peter Kealey

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“Climate change and protection of the environment are really pressing issues. Having the opportunity to meetup on Fridays for Fridays for Future Geelong is something concrete that I can do to express the importance of these issues. Meeting up with members of the public gives an insight into views of random passers by and an opportunity to pass on information and contacts.”
~ Gemma Statton

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Fridays For Future Geelong, for me, plays a important role in informing and educating the public on the present and future effects that climate change is bringing to our world. We are facing floods, famine, eco systems collapsing, livelihoods lost, and impending poverty for those who can least afford it. My conscience will not let me see this happening around me and not try to do something about it. With Fridays For Future Geelong we have a presence every Friday, we keep on doing what other people are reluctant to do, which is to protest at the inaction of governments to address the climate emergency. We will also target fossil fuel companies that have no concern for the planet and its inhabitants, their only concern is profits, high salaries for the administrator’s and a return for share holders. We will not give up, we cannot, our future depends on it.
~ Maree

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