Climate change protesters get creative with signs

Demonstrators showed imagination and cheekiness with protest signs at the Climate Strike in Vancouver on Friday.

Brayden Hirsch
Kicker

Protesters gather at Vancouver City Hall, toting signs of all shapes, sizes, and messages. Brayden Hirsch/Kicker
Protesters gather at Vancouver City Hall, toting signs of all shapes, sizes—and messages. Brayden Hirsch/Kicker

Cardboard or paper signs are an essential part of any protest, and Friday’s climate rally in Vancouver was no exception.

After all, there’s something fun about stopping at the nearby Dollarama (which doubtless saw a spike in sales, as hundreds lined up to purchase poster paper and markers) and crouching on the sidewalk to write out your own pithy statement of protest.

But anyone watching the 80,000 people who gathered along Cambie Street this afternoon would have spotted nearly as many different messages in the marchers’ signs. If the sheer size of the crowd was the most impressive aspect of today’s protest, then the marchers’ creative signage was second-most impressive.

"How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if all our forests burn down?"
Brayden Hirsch/Kicker

The event was inspired by Greta Thunberg’s movement #FridaysforFuture and was primarily directed at children and youth in the Greater Vancouver Region. In fact, two school districts freed their students to attend the rally, earlier this week.

And the children certainly did express themselves with heartfelt messages:

"The dinosaurs couldn't stop it...but we can!"
Brayden Hirsch/Kicker
"We speak for the trees."
Brayden Hirsch/Kicker

However, kids weren’t the only ones carrying signs down Cambie Street. Local businesses and unions showed up in support of the event, as many signs made clear.

Unions, businesses, and faculties showed up in support of the event.
Unions, businesses and faculties showed up in support of the Climate Strike
Brayden Hirsch/Kicker

In some cases, however, the large number of adult marchers stood in contrast with the kid-friendly nature of the event. For some, Greta Thunberg’s spirit of reform may not have come across on the angry, more adult-oriented signs.

“Don’t f*** your mother,” were the words that accompanied one picture of Mother Earth.

On several signs, Dr. Suess’ “The Lorax” conveyed other impolite messages.

Occasionally, some protesters used their own bodies as signs, like one adult woman who painted “F*** me, not the earth” across her cleavage.

In some cases, these adult-oriented signs may have contradicted the less cynical message of the children. For example, while many claimed that the rally was “NOT political,” others showed partisan support, most noticeably for the Green Party.

Brayden Hirsch/Kicker

Supporters of the Trans-Mountain Pipeline, Amazon, and even cars themselves might have felt unwelcome at the protest.

Supporters of the Trans-Mountain Pipeline, Amazon, and even cars themselves might have felt unwelcome at the protest. Brayden Hirsch/Kicker
Supporters of the Trans-Mountain Pipeline, Amazon, and even cars themselves might have felt unwelcome at the protest. Brayden Hirsch/Kicker

With a predicted turnout of 15,000 people, the 80,000 who gathered for a common cause in Vancouver Friday afternoon made the Climate Strike a successful event. While the protest signs at the rally indicate the diversity of opinions, they all contributed to the same movement.

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