Yesterday in Chicago, more than 300 balloons were released in downtown Grant Park — one balloon for each child killed during Israel’s 22-day assault on the Gaza Strip three years ago.
Attached to the balloons were the names and descriptions of each child. The organizers, the youth-led Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights, stated in their call for the event:
The balloons are 100% biodegradable and the cards will be made from flowerseed paper. So wherever they land, these cards will plant seeds in the ground that will bloom into beautiful flowers in the spring. This is our way of paying tribute to the memory of each child.
At least a hundred people attended (this is my conservative estimate) and organizers announced that people came from out of state to participate. Attendees assembled in Millennium Park and marched to Grant Park, chanting solidarity messages.
This is a really nice sentiment and everything, but I really wish people would stop mass releasing balloons into the air. Even though the balloons are biodegradable, they still pose a threat to wildlife.
Well, I would say all of humanity, our civilizations, our atmospheric pollution, spreading construction and growing cities, and a huge number of other things pose a far greater threat to wildlife and the planet than a few hundred or even thousands of balloons. The balloons are a tiny part of that larger tapestry, but on its own, the balloons would be the least of my concerns… But that’s just me.