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‘Nearly pasty point of no return’: Pikachu, surfers and parades feature in colourful G7 climate protests

·3-min read
Protesters dressed as Pikachu characters demonstrate on Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth (Getty Images)
Protesters dressed as Pikachu characters demonstrate on Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth (Getty Images)

It is a G7 tradition almost as customary as the communique, the five-star dinners and the annual sense that, hang on, is everyone just having a junket at our expense.

Protests.

Demonstrators have been finding unique and colourful ways to express their discontent over global capitalism, environmental destruction and international inequality almost as long as the shindig – sorry – the summit has been taking place.

And this year in Cornwall has been no exception.

Opponents to the G7 have created sculptures out of garbage, dressed up as Pikachu and left knitted Cornish pasties emblazoned with climate crisis slogans around St Ives and Carbis Bay, where the talks are taking place.

Forget the actual world leaders for a moment, then. Here’s your guide to the best of the protests…

Best foot forward – for a thousand miles

For those who like to combine their environmental activism with a good workout for the calves, this one’s for you: hundreds of young people will form a relay, walking from Cornwall to Glasgow to raise awareness about climate change.

Members of the Young Christian Climate Network and Christian Aid will drag a boat behind them as they march a leg or two of the 1,000-mile trek.

They will set off from Truro Cathedral on Sunday, with the ultimate aim being for the boat to reach the Scottish city in time for the UN climate change conference being held there in October.

A Pikachu picket

What could say “stop burning coal” more than, er, a parade of life-sized Pikachu?

In action organised by the No Coal Japan coalition, the Pokemon characters frolicked around Falmouth, calling for the Tokyo government to end its use of the fossil fuel by 2030.

Climate protesters in St Ives
Climate protesters in St Ives

Surf’s up – and so is time for action

What a gnarly way to hang a protest: surfers paddled out to demand climate justice on Saturday.

Dozens took their boards out to sea at Gyllyngvase Beach, in Falmouth, while holding placards calling for action to protect the planet.

“It is vital that the decisions made at the summit focus on a need for a green and blue recovery,” said organisers Surfers Against Sewage.

Hang 10, indeed.

‘The steaks couldn’t be higher’

Fancy a Cornish pasty? Dozens of them – knitted ones – have been left around St Ives and Carbis Bay this weekend by the local Extinction Rebellion group. The crafty snack replicas come adorned with climate change messages – “The steaks couldn’t be higher,” for example – and have been placed around the area, organisers say, in a bid to raise awareness about the urgency needed to avert environmental catastrophe.

The ‘Mount Rushmore’ sculpture on Sandy Acres Beach in Cornwall (PA)
The ‘Mount Rushmore’ sculpture on Sandy Acres Beach in Cornwall (PA)

Rubbish Rushmore

The problem of global electronic waste was highlighted by artist Joe Rush who created a massive Mount Rushmore-style sculpture of the seven world leaders.

The mammoth piece – named Mount Recyclemore – was placed on the beach opposite the Carbis Bay Hotel, where talks are taking place.

“We have this looking at them, and hopefully we’re going to prick their conscience and make them realise they’re all together in this waste business,” Rush said.

Flags, placards, samba

An estimated 1,000 activists marched through St Ives on Friday in a show of climate unity.

Hundreds waved banners and placards, while many were in fancy dress. A samba band provided a soundtrack as hundreds of locals lined the streets to support the spectacle.

In a similar vein, hundreds more gathered on Falmouth beach to demand world leaders take the climate emergency seriously.

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