One-month out from what’s expected to be the largest march on climate change in history, groups launch massive recruitment push
NEW YORK — With just one month to go until the People’s Climate March in New York City this September 21, more than 100 organizations are taking part in an online recruitment drive to sign people up for the demonstration. In the first hours of the push, thousands of new signups have already begun to flow in.
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 beyond 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 D.C. to New York, and buses from multiple points outside of New York.
- More than 45 labor 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% of the subway ads in NYC for the month before the march. The ads were chosen after a poster design contest that netted over 400 entries worldwide.
- 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 2014 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.
For more information on The Peoples Climate March and participating groups, please see here: http://peoplesclimate.org/about/
Eddie Bautista, Executive Director, NYC Environmental Justice Alliance: “Climate change affects everyone, but will not impact everyone equally. The NYC Environmental Justice Alliance is proud to join the hundreds of organizations in the historic People’s Climate March to advance climate justice. It’s not every day you can help secure humanity’s future just by showing up – this will be one of those days. Join us!”
Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): “On September 21st, thousands of people from across the world, from all walks of life, will stand as one calling for global climate action. This event will show the world’s most powerful leaders that people are united in their support of this cause and want to see ambitious climate action today. It is time for world leaders to rise to the challenge.”
Physicians for Social Responsibility issued the following statement: “Few threats to human health are as significant in scope as the crisis caused by climate change. As members of the medical and public health communities, we have an obligation to speak out on the health threats we are facing from deadly heat waves, air pollution, increased diseases and a myriad of other climate related health impacts. If we are to continue living on a healthy planet, we must move quickly to clean, renewable energy sources that are not derived from fossil fuels. This is why we are marching”
Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of Uprose: “With so much at stake and a historical opportunity a month away, this is the time to gather family, friends and neighbors and let them know that what’s at stake is our livability, now is the time build momentum and roll in deep with our loved ones into the Peoples Climate March!”
Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club: “This isn’t just about getting a bunch of people to New York to march for an hour then go home. This is about making sure that the tipping point in the fight to halt climate disruption tips in the favor of the average citizen and clean energy prosperity, and that the world’s leaders see that the support to do so has reached a level that can no longer be ignored.”
Maura Cowley, director of Energy Action Coalition: “Students on hundreds of campuses, and thousands of youth vote leaders across the country are bringing their power and voices to the People’s Climate March to say enough is enough, we will divest from fossil fuels and build a new clean and just economy, and President Obama and world leaders better be prepared to join us, or face the political consequences.”
David Turnbull, Campaigns Director, Oil Change International: “Politicians have come together too many times with nothing more than rhetoric and empty promises in tow. Next month, thousands of true leaders will be marching on the streets of New York demanding real action. The question is, will our elected leaders follow.”
RIcken Patel, Executive Director of the 38-million member civic organization, Avaaz: “There’s a vast latent constituency of people out there who are alarmed about climate change. But for years, nobody has put up a banner that said ‘this is the time, this is the place, to show you care.’ The People’s Climate March is that banner, and we’re seeing a phenomenal response to it.”
Keya Chatterjee, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) director of renewable energy outreach: “For decades we’ve listened to government leaders at the UN voice their concerns about climate change. Next month, they’ll hear from tens of thousands of Americans demanding they finally turn that talk into action.”
Bridget Burns, Advocacy and Communications Director, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO): “Climate change is the crisis of our times. For too long now, political posturing, greed and complacency in ‘business as usual’ has taken precedent over justice, equality, action and ambition. But change is not something which you wait for, its something that you make happen. WEDO is headed to the People’s Climate March in a spirit of common purpose with fellow women’s rights leaders, feminists and activists to demand climate justice and ignite a movement for change.”
Tomas Garduno, Political Director of ALIGN: Alliance for a Greater New York, a labor/community alliance: “Labor unions, community organizations–environmental justice, economic justice and faith groups–environmental and climate organizations have been working together more and more over the past several years. The breadth and depth of who’s working together to organize the People’s Climate March is a testament to that.”
May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org said, “The energy buzzing around the march organizing headquarters here in New York is palpable. Every day, volunteers are hitting the phones, streets, and internet to turn people out. The march is still a month away, but this effort has already helped build the type of movement infrastructure we need to take the climate fight to the next level.”
Patti Lynn, Managing Director, Corporate Accountability International: “It is clear that we cannot create the hard-hitting international policy that we so desperately need to combat climate change with the dirty-energy industry at the table. In one month, a global mobilization will descend upon New York City to demand concrete action by our leaders and an end to the corporate co-optation of meetings like the Ban Ki-moon Summit.”
Adam Hasz, Chair of SustainUS: “Young people are coming to the streets of New York in huge numbers to stand up and say we’ve had enough — we’re not going to sit back and wait for politicians to save our future. Instead, we’re on the frontlines fighting extractive industries and proposing just policies to confront climate change and its impacts on the most vulnerable. The People’s Climate March will show that a better future is not only possible, but underway.”
Patrick Carolan, Executive Director of the Franciscan Action Network said, “It is our moral obligation to care for God’s creation. Franciscans believe this and follow it as part of the Tradition of St. Francis, however, every faith tradition has a statement such as this within its doctrine. We need to remind our politicians of their faith and demand action based on it, rather than on the demands of other political groups.”
Nicole Dallara Outreach Coordinator for the NJ Sierra Club: “This is the People’s march. People from around the country are going to be coming together to march as ONE calling on our world leaders to tackle the most important issue of our time – climate change. It is important that everyone and anyone attends this march, which is why our one month recruitment is so important. All voices and issues need to be present so they will be heard by those attending the UN Climate Summit, ”
Collin Rees, 350 DC Steering Committee member: “The People’s Climate March is a moment to come together in new alliances and build a just transition to a better world. It’s an opportunity to call on world leaders to take the bold steps needed to avoid climate catastrophe. The March is a chance to build a movement of movements, and take these connections back to strengthen the deep, local organizing that’s happening in the District of Columbia and around the country each and every day.”
Ken Levenson, President, NY Passive House: “We are excited to recruit participants for the People’s Climate March in our low-energy/high-performance building industry community. It’s producing a galvanizing action, and empowering our voices far beyond the scale of our day-to-day efforts.”
Helena Norberg-Hodge, Founder and Director, Local Futures: “It’s time we recognize that the driving force behind climate chaos is the globalizing economy, not our innate failings as human beings. The People’s Climate March represents an opportunity to look beyond individual consumer choices and come together to push for real policy change.”