Overnight climate vigil attracts hundreds

More than 200 people, including a band of bargoers dressed as Santa Claus, stopped by a 24-hour vigil this weekend in support of climate change action. The vigil, which began at 3:50 p.m.

More than 200 people, including a band of bargoers dressed as Santa Claus, stopped by a 24-hour vigil this weekend in support of climate change action.

The vigil, which began at 3:50 p.m. Friday and ran until Saturday, was held on the front steps of the Elijah Smith Building.

The event, organized by Diana Lindley, was part of a larger effort that saw vigils being held all around the world in response to the climate change conference currently being held in Copenhagen.

Throughout the night, people stopped by to drop off wood and to warm themselves by the firepit Lindley had set up.

She was surprised by the number of people who took shifts around the fire or stayed in the giant tent on the steps. There were about 75 people who stayed for several hours, including climate specialist John Streicker and Liberal MP Larry Bagnell, who stayed overnight.

“I think a vigil is a very peaceful way to take a stand in what you believe in,” said Lindley.

Only now are people realizing the actual consequences of climate change.

“The world is barely waking up and people are just getting to the breakfast table,” she said.

“Government officials are just people and it seems like they don’t know what to cook.”

Even the Santas realized the importance of the vigil, said Lindley with a laugh.

When they passed the vigil, they stopped by for a couple photos and shouted out, “Even Santas care for the climate.” (Vivian Belik)