People’s Climate March – Reflections 1
If you’ve been paying attention to current affairs at all this month, you probably know that the People’s Climate March took place this Sunday (9/21) here in NYC. This was followed by the Flood Wall Street action on Monday (9/22), which shut down traffic around the Wall St and Stock Exchange area in the Financial District of lower Manhattan. And on Tuesday (9/23), Ban Ki-Moon will be hosting a mini climate summit with many, but not all, of the world leaders at the UN. All of this has taken place in the context of the Climate Week NYC, although many events are also taking place all across the country and the world. One estimate during the march said there were over 2,800 different events taking place in more than 160 countries. Estimates the day after the People’s Climate March were between 325,000 and 400,000 people marching on Sunday, making it the largest climate march in history.
Being involved both in organizing youth to come to the march on Sunday, as well as marching Sunday here in NYC, plus all the organizing that was taking place before and around these events, has been very exciting, and shows the growing strength of the climate justice movement. But as many commentators have noted, this is just the start of what must become a larger mobilization for systemic change–or to borrow a phrase our Canadian friends coined–system change, not climate change. There has been a lot of debate within the movement about whether the People’s Climate March helped to create more support for real change or just highlighted once more the broad public support for taking action on climate change. In other words, will the energy of almost half a million people translate into serious change in climate policy, or will this be just another protest against climate inaction that has no lasting impact.
Here are some more pictures from the march on Sunday.
Right now it is too early to say for sure. After the UN summit this week we will know a little more about what impact these events had on both US and UN climate politics. And we’ll have to see what comes out of the Flood Wall Street actions, which are in many ways trying to revive the spirit of OWS, which still has lots of resonance, especially when we are marching in Wall Street in NYC.
Video from the Flood Wall Street action is available on StopMotionsolo.tv, and I’m including his Ustream channel below from the action on the streets on Monday down in the Wall St. area of NYC.
This is all part of a growing wave of popular activism around climate justice issues, not only here in NYC, but all over the world. What comes next is anybody’s guess. But what is not in doubt is the need for real action on climate change.
Until next time…take action on climate change.