Wednesday 25th November, Students from the Oxfam People and Planet society organized a Mexican Wave flashmob (or “splashmob” as the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition have now called the event). The event took place on the steps of the Guildhall Building with around fifty students taking part to help promote “The Wave”; the protest march taking place in London on December 5th in the build up to the Copenhagen Climate Summit.
There had been a lot of hype leading up to this rally, with almost 200 Portsmouth students confirming that they would attend the splashmob on the event’s Facebook page. Although this number of students was not quite reached it did not prevent those who took part from enjoying themselves and feeling that they had made a difference.
The event was planned to gain maximum attention. At one o’clock, when the Pompey chimes rang out, the group of assembled students ran to the steps of the Guildhall and formed a Mexican Wave which managed to stretch across almost the whole width of the building. After completing two successful “waves”, cries of “Join the Wave” erupted from the group, before quickly dispersing.
Speaking after the event, Finola Kilgallen – The President of the People and Planet branch of the society – said “I feel that this event was really exciting, although we didn’t get 200 people, which would have been awesome, we did manage to engage people who wouldn’t have previously been involved in climate change activism”.
This sense of exhilaration was echoed by Amy Kenyon – the Treasurer of the society – “It was really fun, it was really different from what I thought it would be as well” she also added “there was a real adrenaline rush, plus I was surprised to be campaigning with people who I’d never met before”.
The splashmob made a significant number of Portsmouth students aware of the Wave demonstration taking place in London this December. However, the impact of the event did not stop the moment the students left the steps. The event was “tweeted” by popular twitter users such as “GetOnTheWave”, “Guardianeco” and “scccoalition”. This meant that the activities of the students that day could be seen nationwide. It also demonstrates how the actions of a few can have a much broader impact.
The action taken by Portsmouth students at the splashmob illustrates that there is a desire amongst the student body for change. What is important is that World leaders react to this strong desire and implement the changes necessary to prevent climate change from causing further harm to the planet. It is crucial that a deal is made that is both fair and safe for all.
To view the “Splashmob” here is the YouTube link: http://tinyurl.com/y8k9bbw