The Saturday event coincided with the ongoing COP24 climate summit.
The protesters, among them conference attendees and activists, carried banners reading “Don’t heat up our Earth,” “Clean coal is a dirty lie,” “We are suffocating,” and chanting “Wake up.”
The organisers said: “If we don’t shift away from fossil fuels, our children will have no future.” In a manifesto read out at the march, they said there is little time to make up for the mistakes of the present and past generations.
One of the key themes of the march was an alarm clock meant to call politicians to quick action. The organisers said: “Politicians, officials and the representatives of 196 countries gathered at the climate summit in Katowice, wake up.” They added: “Stop contending over who gives less and takes more and think about the world you’re paving the way for for our children.”
Fifteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, known for her lone protest outside the Swedish parliament against climate inaction, was among those holding the platform at the protest. She said: “We have not come here today to beg the world leaders to care for our future -- they have ignored us in the past and they will ignore us again -- we have come here to let them know that change is coming whether they like it or not.”
She added: “The one thing we need more than hope is action.”
Alongside fossil fuels, the participants of the march protested against the industrial-scale production of meat, GMOs, pesticides, killing endangered species and excessive consumption.
Three Polish men were detained at the march after a scuffle with police, PAP said.
In another development, a group of six Ukrainian environmentalists headed to Katowice were turned back on the Polish border on grounds of a threat to national security, Poland’s IAR news agency reported, citing environmental organisation 350.org.
One of the activists, Valentyn Nyskovolosov, said the decision was political in character, IAR reported. The group said they would request a formal reason for the move on Monday.
Source: IAR, PAP, 350.org