Climate justice advocates demonstrated a collective effort to raise awareness about the severity of climate change on Sunday, Sept. 21.
Hundreds of thousands of determined participants gathered at the People’s Climate March in New York City, the largest assemblage for action against climate change in history. Participants marched from 82nd to 34th Street, some chanting things like “system change, not climate change” and waving messages like “3x more people displaced by climate change than by war” and “protect what you love.” These are handwritten on a cardboard square to 5 by 8 foot homemade banners, held up by poles.
Others performed on guitars or drums playing with no break for hours, floated parachutes, carried an inflatable Earth, or dressed and performed to display consequences they are fighting to prevent.
“It is everyone’s duty to protest what they care about,” said Austin Tooker, a freshmen who belongs to Amnesty International and the College Democrat group. “I grew up on the Jersey Shore and witnessed horrific events such as Hurricane Sandy. So I believe that climate protests like this are defending the future of my children.”
Collections of organizations walked alongside individual participants, including Seton Hall’s Amnesty International and College Democrat groups.
“We are suffering from the repercussions of the last generation,” said Taylor Lassen, freshmen College Democrat member. “Because they did not do anything to help. Now that it’s taking its toll, we have to take action, educate and fight for our planet.”
Putting feet on the ground, literally in the numbers that appeared on Sunday, is the key to beginning progressive change, participants said. Supporting the fight against climate change in global discourse may be the key to preventing worst case scenarios of climate disaster.
Lassen said: “I think when citizens stand together passionately united about issues they care about it is impossible for those in government to deny the demands of the people. As such, when 400,000 people show up to a protest, it is impossible for the world not to ac- knowledge the serious issue of climate change.”
Anna Griffin can be reached at email@example.com.