Well it was not exactly Woodstock but may as well have been with an actual higher attendance, 500k compared to 400k. And to me the more staggering stat was that there were more than a quarter of all Montréalais out for the Fridays For Future Montréal edition where Greta Thunberg, after having crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a sailboat since she doesn’t fly on pollutant jetliners, or travel on much else but trains and electric cars, amazingly made it to the march in person after spending time the week before in New York for meetings at the UN.
And I was in the middle of it.
This was mere months after my internal revelations in that harsh wintery February hotel room planning activist actions and contemplating societal change and here was the action to trump all actions, and it was elating.
I would never get to see Greta that day, the crowd was too thick at the end of the march to wait around in the hot sun the couple of hours until she spoke so I ducked into a local watering hole to bide my time after which I would try to catch the conclusion.
All I managed to see after was actually a fitting bookend, members of the local branch of Extinction Rebellion carrying a coffin emblazoned with Notre Futur, “our future” on it.
Having sadly missed the environmental activist who would come to drive a lot of my subsequent motivation, I nonetheless imbibed enough of the fumes of the march to perhaps get on the other side of this demarcation line where my life, maybe all lives, were to be caught up in the rest of the grand events of the 21st century in lots of ways defining the next steps of how life will unfold on this planet.
I am just a former technical writer who has faced some rather challenging periods so how, the thought has occurred to me since, can I really be apart of this?
I had rejected Extinction Rebellion’s tactics, specifically one of their chief strategies of getting arrested, and have never been comfortable with extremes of the left or right, so how was I to proceed past a mundane life to a life with the same resoluteness, while maintaining my humbleness, of a Greta Thunberg?
And not a year later these choices would come into much starker relief as the whole world would be struck by a sort of preemptive crisis to the perhaps main attraction of global heating: the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.