But organizers clarified they wanted to do this "while ensuring that the transition towards a zero-carbon society is carried out in a way that does not harm the well-being of our communities and ensures the continued economic and social stability of workers."
"A lot of people that are here today are students. A lot younger of a crowd," he said, noting that Thunberg led a 500,000-person climate protest in Montreal in 2019. Organizers called it one of the biggest protests in Quebec history.
"As such, we want to encourage everyone to approach September 30 as a day of action. Reflection is not enough - participating, listening and supporting Indigenous people, who are still reeling from the multi-generational trauma of residential school, is a proactive stance to commemorate this day."
Many people at the march wore orange shirts, a symbol of truth and reconciliation. Orange Shirt Day, a grassroots movement that commemorated residential schools and honoured their survivors, was the precursor to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and some people still refer to it by its original name.
"Joyce Echaquan lost her life because somebody thought she didn't matter," said Ellen Gabriel, a Mohawk activist and artist from Kanehsatà:ke Nation, addressing the crowd. "Don't make this the last demonstration you come to. Don't make this the last thing you do for those children who never came home."
At a press conference on Monday, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante condemned the recent spate of protests against vaccine mandates in the city and had some harsh words for the individuals participating in them.
"We will not let people who have particular ideas about vaccination [...] stop people from getting vaccinated, doing their work, taking care of people, or going to study," the mayor said.
Manifester est un droit. Mais la ligne a été franchie, et ça doit cesser immédiatement. Intimider des enfants et de… https://t.co/YWBCfJku4O