The Climate Justice Alliance along with allies and friends mobilized in force to the streets of New York City on September 21, 2014 to demand Climate Action rooted in Justice for frontline communities across the U.S. and around the world.
It was truly a day to remember…
On the eve of the Autumn Equinox four hundred thousand people made history on the streets of New York City – joining together to take part in the largest march ever on climate change. It was not just the scale of the People’s Climate March that was significant; it was the diversity and leadership of the growing movement in the United States that was represented.
Young people of color from local environmental justice organizations led the march, holding ten-foot high painted sunflowers – an image passed on from the US Social Forum march against the local polluting incinerator in 2010 organized by the Detroit Zero Waste Coalition. The symbol was taken up by the youth who took part in the Climate Justice Youth Summit convened by UPROSE this August. It was as if the spirit of our sister Charity Hicks had risen up from the very streets where she was tragically struck down just a few months ago. She was a food, environmental and climate justice warrior and leader of the East Michigan Environmental Action Council.
The sunflowers were followed by a delegation representing communities affected by Superstorm Sandy, and behind them – a large contingent of indigenous peoples from throughout the world. It was an incredibly powerful image of solidarity. Other frontline, environmental justice communities followed, including El Puente from Brooklyn with a lively group of Boricua musicians escorting a 20 foot high image of Mother Earth. Tens of thousands of people of color-led organizations and allies followed, including organizations representing migrant justice, domestic workers, housing rights groups, homeless people and many more.
There were some celebrities, but the stars shone everywhere, not least of which were the powerful voices of our CJA members and the frontline communities our movement represents. Kandi Mossett of Indigenous Environmental Network, Stanley Sturgill of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Mari Rose Taruc of Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Elizabeth Yeampierre of UPROSE, helped kick off the March at the opening press conference.
We should acknowledge our colleagues on the Mobilization Support Team (MST) and the Peoples Climate March, 350.org, Avazz, Sierra Club, SEIU, local 32BJ, Oil Change International, ALIGN, the Blue/Green Alliance and the Peoples Climate March staff who demonstrated shared and principled leadership.
There are thousands to congratulate, generations to acknowledge and hundreds to thank for making this day important – including a fierce but mighty crew of CJA volunteers who showed up at 6:30 am to marshal our contingent. There were many acts of love, solidarity, patience, resolve, leadership and heroism on the day of the March and the months leading up to it. Hopefully in the weeks and months that follow we can do justice in appreciating these individuals, organizations and communities. In the meantime a big thanks to Eddie Bautista of New York City Environmental Justice Alliance and Elizabeth Yeampierre of UPROSE for their years of building the environmental justice movement in New York, and providing solid leadership for CJA in the MST, as well as a special shout out to Ananda Lee Tan of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, our other CJA representative on the MST who has been a tremendous ambassador, supporter and leader to all of us.
Thanks to all of you within the Climate Justice Alliance and extended family who traveled far to make this moment happen. It is a long road that continues on from here. Let’s appreciate the journey to get here and look forward to traveling the road ahead together.
Michael Leon Guerrero
Our Power Campaign: Communities United for a Just Transition
Climate Justice Alliance Call to Action for participation in the Climate March, September 21, 2014
On September 23rd, political and corporate leaders are meeting at the United Nations in New York City for the Climate Summit 2014. This summit represents yet another step towards the corporate takeover of the UN climate negotiations, and the privatization of land, water and air resources under the guise of a global climate compact. Meanwhile, as communities on the frontlines of climate change, we are the ones cultivating real, place-based solutions to address the global ecological crises. Indigenous peoples’ communities, communities of color and working-class white communities that are the first and most impacted by the storms, floods and droughts, are organizing to create millions of family-supporting jobs in clean energy, public transportation, zero waste, food sovereignty, community housing and ecosystem restoration.
We are also organizing to stop pollution and poverty at the source, confronting the extreme energy corporations causing the climate crisis. As we write, our friends and comrades around the world are putting their bodies on the line to stop the corporations responsible – mining corporations; oil, coal and gas companies; pipelines and refineries; biofuels plantations; nuclear power plants; waste and biomass incinerators, and a myriad other industries profiteering from the destruction of our communities, our cultures and our ecosystems.
From Mesa to Mountaintop, from Hood to Holler – join us as we meet the scale and urgency of the crisis by standing in solidarity with all frontlines of resistance and resilience around the world, and taking non-violent direct action against the corporations driving the extractive economy. We call on our allies to:
- Join us in the streets of NYC for a week of creative non-violent actions for Climate Justice
- Join us at the People’s Climate Justice Summiton Sept. 22 and 23, in New York
- Organize a delegation to join the People’s Climate March& People’s Climate Justice Summit in NYC
- Organize a creative action in your home community that highlights local solutions to climate change
- Spread this call to action amongst your respective networks and social media outlets
Our demands of local, national and international decision-makers are simple: Support us in building Just Transition pathways away from the “dig, burn, dump” economy, and towards “local, living economies” where communities and workers are in charge! Join us in solidarity – in the streets of New York City, in your own community, and around the world!
See Our Press Round Up (More to Come)
People’s Climate March:
Front-Lines Communities Rising Up: Dispatches from People’s Climate, Common Dreams:
After years of racial division the green movement gets a little brown, The Daily Beast:
Climate justice resurfaces admist New York’s corporate sharks, Telesurtv:
With UN Climate Summit Opening, Marchers Rallied Around the World, National Geographic:
Thousands pack New York’s streets to march against climate change, Los Angeles Times:
Planetexperts Video: heart-melting interview with Michael and Carina at 3:26:
Hundreds Of Thousands Turn Out For People’s Climate March In New York City, Huffington Post:
One big march, lots of little messages, Grist:
Climate change march brings thousands to New York, Washington Examiner:
A Lively Atmosphere at the People’s Climate March, Firedoglake:
The Daily Show: http://youtu.be/lPgZfhnCAdI
Idle No More: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs585zaaMbM
3000 Protesters “Flood” Wall Street, TelesurTV:
During Climate Week, Indigenous People Seek Environmental Reform and Social Justice:
Flooding the streets, SF Bay Guardian:
La protesta global contra el cambio climático reclama acción urgent, El Periodico:
New York fait ville pleine contre le réchauffement climatique, Le Monde:
Analysis from our Climate Space international allies:
Climate Change: Not Just Any Action Will Do, by Pablo Solon
How Did Leaders Respond to the People’s Climate March? by Pablo Solon
Climate justice gets a new lease on life, by Patrick Bond
While UN Climate Summit Makes False Promises, People’s Climate Justice Summit Brings Community-led Solutions by Matt Feinstein
Climate Justice Alliance Members:
- Alliance for Appalachia
- ACE for Environmental Justice
- Asian Pacific Environmental Network
- Black Mesa Water Coalition
- Catskills Mountainkeeper
- Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy
- Center for Story-based Strategy
- Communities for a Better Environment
- Community to Community Development
- Cornell Global Labor Institute
- East Michigan Environmental Action Council
- Energy Justice Network
- Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative
- Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
- Global Justice Ecology Project
- Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
- Grassroots International
- Indigenous Environmental Network
- Institute for Policy Studies
- Ironbound Community Corporation
- Jobs With Justice
- Just Transition Alliance
- Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
- Labor Community Strategy Center
- Labor Network for Sustainability
- Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
- Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment
- Movement Generation
- Movement Strategy Center
- NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program
- New York City EJ Alliance
- People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights (PODER)
- Right to the City Alliance
- Rising Tide North America
- Ruckus Society
- Southwest Organizing Project
- Southwest Workers Union