There’s less than a month to go to the People’s Climate March
Creativecommons.org/ Pedro Ribeiro Simões
With less than one month to go until the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21, more than 100 organizations are taking part in an online recruitment drive to sign people up for the demonstration.
The People’s Climate March is expected to be the largest demonstration for climate action in history. The march takes place just two days before President Obama and world leaders gather for an emergency Climate Summit at the United Nations. Marchers are demanding leaders go to rhetoric and commit to bold action at the summit.
More than 750 organizations around the world are supporting the People’s Climate March, from the largest transit workers union in New York City to a coalition of buddhist monks. In total, the groups represent roughly 100 million people worldwide.
The scale of organizing for the march now rivals that of a major electoral campaign, with thousands of volunteers, daily phone-banks and canvasses in NYC, and a major online operation to turn out marchers. Updates from the field include:
- Trains and hundreds of buses will be bringing people from across the country for the march. Including a dedicated train from San Francisco to New York, a dedicated train from DC to New York, and buses from multiple points outside of New York.
- More than 45 labour unions have signed onto the march, pledging to turn out members in New York City and from surrounding areas.
- Connecticut alone has over 40 different groups confirmed to attend.
- Renowned artist Shepard Fairey, whose Obama Hope poster has become world famous, has donated a poster design for the march
- At a warehouse in Brooklyn, artists are creating giant sculptures, floats and banners for the march.
- The global campaigning group Avaaz has secured 10 percent of the subway ads in NYC for the month before the march.
- Groups are planning a major student recruitment push for college campuses as classes resume in September.
The People’s Climate March has also gone global, with other major marches and solidarity events being planned worldwide:
- In New Delhi, thousands will take over the streets on September 20 to demand a renewable energy revolution.
- In Australia, organizers are expecting hundreds of individual events to take place across the country, including a major march in Melbourne.
- In London environment organisations and faith groups are combining forces to create a historic march through the city to the steps of Parliament.
- In Berlin three parallel marches will combine forces in a colourful festival.
- Events are already being planned in Ghana, Kenya, DRC, Nigeria, and Guinea, along with a major march in Johannesburg.
- In Paris, local groups will create the “Paris Marche pour le Climat,” with parades, marches, and bicycle rides planned across the bridges of the Seinne.
- Reports are also coming in of large mobilizations planned in:Kathmandu, Rio, Sao Paulo, Jakarta, Dublin, Manila, Seoul, Mumbai and Istanbul.
Organizers are confident that the sheer scale and diversity of the People’s Climate March events, from the headline demonstration in New York City to the simultaneous events worldwide, will show politicians that there is a massive, energized movement demanding immediate action to address the climate crisis.
In New York City, the message will be difficult to ignore: marchers have come to an agreement with the NYPD for the march to flow directly through the middle of Manhattan. The march will begin at Columbus Circle at 11:30am on Sunday, proceed over on 59th Street to 6th Avenue, down 6th Avenue to 42nd Street, then right on 42nd Street to 11th Avenue. The route passes by some of New York City’s most famous landmarks, from Rockefeller Center to Times Square.
The march and the Climate Summit in New York mark the beginning of a busy 18 months of crucial international negotiations. Climate negotiators will head to Lima, Peru, in December to make progress towards a global climate deal. Then, in September 2015 world leaders will meet back in New York to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals, the global post-2015 development agenda. Three months later, the world will gather in Paris to try and sign a new international climate treaty.