Greta Thunberg is present at the Edmonton climate march and it's drawn crowds both in support and in protest. The march kicked off in the morning on Friday, October 18 in Alberta's capital and it's been getting more and more intense throughout the day. While hundreds of people have flooded to the Edmonton Legislature to hear Greta Thunberg speak and show support, there are others who have arrived to counter-protest.
When Greta Thunberg announced her Edmonton visit to join in their climate strike, she was met with mixed responses. Some oil and gas workers decided to organize a counter-protest against the climate strike. #GretaInAlberta has been trending across the country all morning on Friday, October 18 as Edmonton becomes a battleground for the two opposing Canadian voices about climate change.
The #UnitedWeRoll counter-protest is reportedly on the scene in Edmonton voicing their concerns. Vehicles, including many large trucks, are circling the area. This is the same group responsible for a pro-pipeline convoy that went to Ottawa earlier this year in February.
Still, many more people are in total support of Greta Thunberg and her message. Protesters met at Beaver Hills House Park in the morning on Friday and marched down to the legislature where the rally began at noon and Thunberg gave a speech. In the lead up to the rally, there was noticeable tension between the protesters and counter-protesters.
The United We Roll convoy is expressing their views by driving around the protest area while honking their horns. One tweet reads that the #UnitedWeRoll counter-protest convoy was on the scene, blaring horns "circling what is definitely a crowd of well over 1000 people."
Another tweet reads that one of the counter-protesters was "flooring his diesel truck spewing exhaust smoke" near the rally.
On the ground, the protest is extremely well-attended and the atmosphere is tense. "Organizers are being quite protective because they say she's already been rushed a couple times," reads one tweet from the protest. Another tweet reads, "It's a little tense right at the front of the crowd here with a loud argument having just broken out."
In the lead up to the climate march, both the mayor of Calgary and Edmonton expressed an interest in meeting with Thunberg, although the provincial government extended no such invite.