The Weekend of Worldwide Climate Marches in 10 Photos - Pacific Standard
From New York to New Delhi, citizens and activists gathered in astonishing numbers at more than 2,000 events around the globe.

Early estimates are cautious, but well over half a million people took to the streets around the globe this weekend, on the eve of COP21, to affirm a unified global commitment to curbing man-made climate change. In tiny villages and major cities, on the streets of island nations and of landlocked northern states, marchers united across languages and time zones. As the photos arrived on the wire, it was like watching a single event unfold—one grand, 72-hour expression of global egalitarian politics.

In Seoul, South Korea, two ladies braved the rain.

seoul climate march

Seoul, South Korea, November 29, 2015. (Photo: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

The march in Melbourne, Australia, was the largest of the weekend—60,000 marchers, with London's 50,000 in second place. Below, demonstrators in Melbourne link the struggle for climate justice with the struggle for a free Tibet.

melbourne climate march

Melbourne, Australia, November 27, 2015. (Photo: Chris Hopkins/Getty Images)

In Geneva, Switzerland, the polar bears mixed peaceably with their human allies.

geneva climate march

Geneva, Switzerland, November 29, 2015. (Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

In Paris, France, the host-city of COP21, Oxfam International staged a Big Heads of State summit, with actors balancing oversize papier-mâché masks of Indian President Narendra Modi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Barack Obama, and French President François Hollande. At the table between them, the menu in French reads: "We want to see more ambition at the negotiating table." The big heads treatment is a (mostly) good-natured ribbing that Oxfam gives world leaders regularly at these things. For COP19 in Warsaw, the Big Heads even served food.

obama merkel cop21 oxfam

Paris, France, November 28, 2015. (Photo: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images)

Elsewhere in Paris, the march of 200,000 planned by Avaaz in conjunction with other international non-profits was banned, so protestors initially found a creative and beautiful way to turn silence to their advantage—by installing 20,000 shoes at the Place de la République, to commemorate a march that had never taken place. (Smaller breakaway groups clashed briefly with police off the plaza, and some 200 protestors were arrested.)

La Place de la République, November 29, 2015. (Photo: Ted Scheinman/Pacific Standard)

La Place de la République, November 29, 2015. (Photo: Ted Scheinman/Pacific Standard)

A protestor wearing a mask of former President George W. Bush, Paris, November 29, 2015. (Photo: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images)

A protestor wearing a mask of former President George W. Bush, Paris, November 29, 2015. (Photo: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images)

Marchers in Manila maintained a sunny disposition.

manila climate march

Manila, Philippines, November 29, 2015. (Photo: Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images)

In Nantes, France, activists formed a human chain.

nantes climate march

A human chain in Nantes, France, November 28, 2015. (Photo: Jean-Sébastien Evrard/AFP/Getty Images)

In Johannesburg, South Africa, climate justice was at the fore.

johannesburg climate march

Johannesburg, South Africa, November 28, 2015. (Photo: Mujahid Safodien/AFP/Getty Images)

And in Dhaka, Bangladesh—one of many countries racked with increasingly frequent natural disasters—demonstrators carried effigies of endangered flora and fauna.

climate march dhaka

Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 28, 2015. (Photo: Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty Images)

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Catastrophic Consequences of Climate Change” is Pacific Standard's year-long investigation into the devastating effects of climate change—and how scholars, legislators, and citizen-activists can help stave off its most dire consequences.

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