So here we are in Paris, four Dominican Sisters from the U.S., with literally thousands of people from all over the world, hoping to be a visible and vocal presence to governments as they make crucial decisions that will impact the well-being of the world’s people, as well as the planet. The climate march which had been scheduled for yesterday was cancelled by the French government in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 13 November. Nonetheless, we gathered along the march route, standing shoulder to shoulder in peaceful demonstration, forming a “human chain” in solidarity with all those who are and have been suffering the bitter effects of global change. We proudly held our banner – Dominican Sisters USA…Climate Justice Now – and were deeply touched by the responses of people to our presence… “You have come from the US? Thank you for coming here. We need this.” We couldn’t help but reflect on the power of simply being there, present to the moment, with so many others. It could not have been a better way to begin the Advent Season – simply being; waiting; hoping.
When the demonstration was over we worked our way to the Place de la République (Plaza of the Republic), which is still filled with flowers, candles and photographs of those who lost their lives in the November 13th attacks. It was a very moving experience. The center of the plaza was lined with thousands of pairs of shoes—including a pair sent by the Vatican, as a sign that even though the actual march was cancelled, we still march and stand in solidarity, urging governments to do the right thing as they gather at the Climate Summit. The actual summit begins today. We will do our best to keep you posted.
–Margaret Mayce, OP (NGO Representative to the United Nations)