In the past week communities across Australia and the planet held powerful actions at over 60 CommBank branches and raised the heat on CommBank and laid the foundations for a movement that won’t stop until the Bank rules out financing for the Galilee Basin mega coal mines. Among those that participated are the youth volunteers from 350.org Vietnam, below is an update from Nhu Ho, regarding their activity.
What a day! On May 17, 2015, 350.org Vietnam had their big action towards CommonBank in Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi, to send a strong message calling the bank to stop funding the Galilee Basin coal mines in Australia and say YES to climate and reef protection.
The action attracted a lot of volunteers who had been inspired and amazed by 350 activities. Action pictures were taken in front of CommonBank offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi with messages “CommonBank can do better – Say no to Reef and Climate Destruction”, “Global banks say no to Galilee Basin – Why won’t CommonBank?” “We love our nature. We love the Great Barrier Reef”. As the action took place at a central location of the busy District 1, the effervescent spirit of the volunteers quickly spread out to the youth groups nearby as well as many local people and tourists.
Short but engaging talks on 350.org’s campaigns and messages were delivered by Nhu Ho, Vy Le, and Nhi Thoi, the core members of 350 Vietnam’s Coordinating Team, to the crowd which kept growing up in size, as more and more people came and joined the group. Being inspired by the excitement and passion of this group, other groups who were gathering nearby, like the Dap xe xuyen Viet (Cycling through Vietnam) group, merrily joined with the photo session, to contribute their voice to demand action to save the world’s largest coral reef from fossil fuels impacts.
The most exciting part of the action was a street music party run by the action participants, and members of Ukulele’s House Group. Banners and signages of the CommonBank campaign were waved during the singing and music performances, which helped to attract many more local people and tourists to join the circle. Little children were particularly excited to join the dances, the music, enjoyed the colorful pictures of the reef’s creatures, and were eager to pose with the message posters for pictures.
Mai Nguyen, one of the volunteers said “ This is a fantastic day. I love the way we use music to attract people’s attention, especially on new issues like divestment from fossil fuels. 350 Vietnam should have more days like this so we can have an opportunity to not only do something to save the nature but also to have great fun and connect with like-minded friends!”
350.org Vietnam message to Raise The Heat on CommonBank did not only reach out to over 100 people who joined the music circle in the park on that day, but also to thousands of people through their creative digital campaign “For the Beauty of the Great Barrier Reef” on their Facebook page. Nearly 350 Vietnamese people have sent their “reef-themed” photos to show their love to the Great Barrier Reef and demand the bank to make a critical decision to save the reef. It became a wonderful start for this huge action rising with 100+ events planned globally on May 19-23. The team will launch the complete photo collection this weekend to contribute a powerful message to the bank, in solidarity with 350.org Australia.
Nhu Ho, 350.org Vietnam team member