Last Saturday, on April 20, more than 10,000 people came together all across the globe to take a stand for the Arctic. Organisers hosted human banners in the shape of a heart, spelling out ‘I Love Arctic’, in more than 280 cities in 38 countries from Chile to New Zealand and from Norway to South Africa. Looking at these beautiful photos, the results speak for themselves.
A group of senior citizens from Portland, Oregon sent us a photo of themselves forming a human heart. In their email they wrote, “We sure hope this will make a difference — we may be old but we certainly still care.” College students from St. James, Jamaica, sent us their photo with the words, “What happens in the Arctic affects us all, especially us small island states. We hope that this picture will help to deliver a strong message to the Arctic Council.”
The congregation of the Coral Gables Congregational Church in Miami, Florida sent us a photo of their whole congregation holding up hearts for the Arctic. On behalf of the congregation, Reverend Dr. Laurinda Hafner authored a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry saying, “Now is time to reach for every tool at your disposal to strengthen international efforts to tackle climate change, protect natural systems as well as those who depend upon them, and reaffirm your commitment to future generations.”
We received a photo of a young boy who wrote “I Love Arctic” with brick stones on the ground, a photo of a 104-people-strong human banner organised by three 17-year old students in the Swedish city Kiruna, and we saw pictures of human banners formed by 500 people in Gent, Belgium. Many people who couldn’t join a human banner submitted their individual photos through social media channels using the #ILoveArctic tag, and as of today, we have received more than 2,000 photos of people holding up an I Love Arctic speech bubble as a silent call for Arctic protection.
The I Love Arctic Global Day of Action brought people together from all walks of life — people who care, people who drive change.
Now it is up to our political leaders, and especially to the leaders of the Arctic Council, to listen to the public demand for Arctic protection and leave the Arctic off-limits for oil exploration and destructive industrial fishing.
We at Greenpeace will present these demands together with all the I Love Arctic photos from around the world to the Arctic Council Foreign Ministers when they meet on May 15 in Kiruna, in the very North of Sweden. Each of the Foreign Ministers, as well as the Arctic Council’s Permanent Participants of the Arctic’s Indigenous Peoples, will receive a book featuring the photos, to demonstrate to them the great demand and hope for strong Arctic protection.
The I Love Arctic Global Day of Action brought an ever growing movement to save the Arctic together for a day. Almost three million people have signed on to our Save the Arctic petition until now, and the list is growing by the day! Sign-on to our campaign today, and join the call for a global sanctuary at the top of the world!