The People’s Climate March is finishing plans for the September 21st event in New York City. The march is being coordinated in response to UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon’s call to world leaders to meet on September 22 and 23 to discuss global disruptions posed by climate change. Secretary Moon will participate in the march.
The goal of the event is to assemble in one place the largest group ever concerned about environmental impacts of climate disruption. The ‘family friendly’ event will be fully permitted. Over 2000 solidarity events will also be held in 130 countries.
Peoples Climate March is expected to draw over 100,000 with participants traveling from every state, including students from over 300 campuses. They will assemble at West Central Park and walk through Times Square towards 11th Avenue starting at 11:30 am Sunday.
Panels and learning opportunities are planned during the week before the march. NYC Climate Convergence will hold workshops and teach-ins sept 19-21st on climate change.
On Saturday, Sept 20th, a day before the People’s Climate March, a panel of noted experts in climate change will discuss climate disruption.
The UN convergence on climate meeting will begin meeting the next day on September 22nd with leaders and climate delegates from 130 countries.
Despite great effort to mobilize numbers not seen since the Civil Rights and Vietnam protests, notable climate advocates have said the climate march does not go far enough to challenge the entrenched fossil fuel industry.
In an assessment of failing efforts to alter fossil energy consumption toward renewable sources, Chris Hedges came out calling the event “one of the last gasps of conventional liberalism’s response to the climate crisis.”
Hedges raised concerns of partner organizations, such as Environmental Defense Fund, which says it “work[s] with companies rather than against them” and labeled them “faux environmental organizations…designed to neutralize resistance.” Hedges claims such groups have “funding from the oil and gas industry and supports fracking as a form of alternative energy.”
Kevin Zeese, co-author of Popular Resistance, believes it is past time for protest symbolism. “The march by itself it not sufficient to ensure the kind of economic, political and cultural changes that are needed to confront the climate crisis,” he said.
However, Zeese believes the march will prompt others to organize in their communities. “We need to be uncompromising in our demands and push only for real solutions not those politically acceptable to the corrupt government, and we need to be persistent and refuse to back down,” he said.
For activists preferring the flavor of direct action, seasoned with civil disobedience, Monday is the day to meet. Flood Wall Street will gather at Battery Park, September 22 at 9 am and march to Wall Street, and “Sit down.” The action will be led by Chris Hedges and Naomi Kline. Their plan is to focus attention directly against the financiers of the carbon fuel industry.
A group called Beyond the March is organizing climate change groups with advocates to network for future planning against the corporations that profit from the fossil fuel industry.
Recent measurements of 401 parts per million concentrations of carbon in the atmosphere were recorded this past spring. This indicates energy corporations are increasing their carbon emissions footprint, making the need to change to renewable energy sources more dire than ever.
While the People’s Climate March is a move to broaden awareness of carbon emissions dangers, “more important is what happens beyond the march,” said Zeese.