One person could not take in the length and depth of this 75,000 person procession. I kept jogging up and down the sidewalk looking for our contingent, but that was a fool’s errand.
As we poured into central NYC from many corners of this nation, the rainbow of ages, languages, skin colors, and affinity groups was a powerfully uplifting experience. The art, large and small, that represented our demands to the Biden administration, brought poetry to the action. The many children and families brought home the literality of this fight. We are here for nothing less than to demand a future.
One person could not take in the length and depth of this 75,000 person procession. I kept jogging up and down the sidewalk looking for our contingent, but that was a fool’s errand. We were all there for the same reason. We want a just transition to a society that honors biodiversity, human diversity, regenerative agriculture, authentic conservation, and a fossil free future.
Our demands, as a precursor to the UN Climate Summit, were simple and clear:
- Stop all oil and gas leases on public lands.
- End all fossil fuel projects in the planning or now being constructed.
- Declare a climate emergency.
Monday and Tuesday saw hundreds participating in civil disobedience actions. Our own Amanda Nash and Cabell Eames were seen being led away to the police wagons! Wednesday, the UN Summit began.
The Chinese representative was rejected as a speaker at the Summit. They were in good company, as the United States also had their speaker rejected. The empty words of the national leaders about honestly addressing the crisis were clearly detected on the BS meter.
But wait, our march bore fruit! Our federal government announced action on Sept. 20. It was the allocation of money to begin a Climate Corps: “...a workforce training and service initiative that will ensure more young people have access to the skills-based training necessary for good-paying careers in the clean energy and climate resilience economy.”
OK, good jobs are important, but did they miss the big print? Offering this new program is like giving people in a sinking ship a larger scooper to bail water out with.
All the clean energy initiatives in the world cannot balance the continued use and support of the fossil fuel industry. That is why we marched. That is why we are building broader coalitions. That is why we are members of 350 Mass!
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