The date chosen for a Global Climate Strike in The Netherlands was Friday, 27 September 2019 in The Hague. Since I live in Tilburg, my day started with a bike ride to the train station where I started off for The Hague. It was heartening to see I was not alone – trains to The Hague from across the country were crowded with climate strikers carrying signs.
I met a couple women from a club I am a member of – the American Women’s Club of The Hague – on a square across from the train station where the march would begin. We mingled with the ever increasing group – people kept pouring into the area!! The turnout was significantly above what the organizers expected, with estimates putting participation at 20,000 – 25,000 people. Due to these massive numbers, the walking route had to be shortened and the end location changed.
After a couple of speeches and some music, the group slowly started walking on a route through downtown and past numerous government buildings. There were many young people marching, but also families and older people and all progressed in good harmony. Surprising was the fact that the vast majority of the signs carried were in English rather than Dutch, and there were some fabulous slogans!
As we were making our way to a larger square for the walks end, we passed a point that had been at our start and were surprised to see streams of people just starting out. When we arrived at the end of the route, there was a vegetarian restaurant handing out metal bowls of delicious pumpkin soup for an optional donation. While the predicted rain never materialized, the soup hit the spot, and participants relaxed on the grassy field and chatted with each other.
As I looked around, I could only thank 16 year old Greta Thunberg for striking on her own so many months ago in Sweden, which has resulted in getting so many others all over the world on their feet. Never underestimate the power of a single person’s actions!
#globalclimatestrike #tilburginternationalclub #expatlife #walkforacause