By: Andrew Rutland, Michelle Angkasa
Around this time last year, many of us were still riding the excitement from Kitchener-Waterloo’s electrifying turnout to the climate strike in Waterloo Public Square. An estimated 4,500 people filled the concrete plaza and overflowed to the surrounding streets and the parking garage across the street. Many of us arrived by a massive march from UW’s campus, and even more crammed onto the still brand-new ION and spilled out directly into the crowds from the platform.
None of us knew that by the same time the following year, our world would have been shaken by an even more acute threat than rising temperatures, and that crowds of this size would be enough to frighten most of us off. But we haven’t forgotten about climate change amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrations just look a little different.
With social distancing in mind, on September 25th Waterloo Public Square was filled instead with ghostly pairs of shoes which people had donated to the cause, which will later be donated to those who will be facing winter without shelter.