Marching Towards Change: Supporting The People's Climate March
By Jean Eng
On September 21st, 2014, over 1000 organizations from community groups and non-profit organizations to businesses are uniting under the banner of the People’s Climate March (PCM) for a “Movements of Movements” moment. The People’s Climate March is partnered by a variety of organizations, ranging from businesses, unions, religious groups, environmental groups, schools, social justice groups, and more.
This march, which is taking place in New York City, is a peaceful march that aims to put pressure on global leaders to take action and address the very serious issue of climate change. The March is strategically timed – on September 23rd, world leaders will be in New York City for a UN summit on the climate crisis where UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will urge world governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution – and the global organizations under the People’s Climate March will be there to urge their leaders to work cooperatively together to achieve this.
World leaders are currently in the clutches of the powerful carbon lobby, which has ensured delay-after-delay on climate action. But the People’s Climate March acknowledges that climate change is not an isolated problem separate from global economic and political issues. The PCM is made up of hundreds of environmental, anti-poverty, health, labour, and social justice organizations that are representing the communities that are affected the most by this change and demanding action from their governments.
The PCM is expected to attract over 200,000 people to downtown New York City. It promises to be the largest climate march in history – the next largest being an estimated 100,000 people in Copenhagen in 2009.
In addition to its efforts to encourage world leaders and local governments to pay more attention to the changing climate, the event also aims to be educational. There will be a range of workshops and other activities in New York City on the day before the march that hope to inform participants of the state of our climate and urge interested citizens to take part. The march itself will be non-violent and family-friendly with props, marching bands, and street performances.
Among the organizations participating in the March in New York City is a local group that is near to my heart: Toronto350.org. Toronto350.org is an activist group that has been lobbying large public institutions like universities to divest from fossil fuel investments. It has also participated in and hosted numerous events relating to climate change since its inception in 2012. Of the upcoming March, Stuart Basden, president of Toronto350.org, says “The People’s Climate March will be a world-changing event. Every progressive movement has needed a mass mobilization of people on the streets before they achieved their goals. The time for the climate movement has come. And that is why Toronto350.org volunteers have been working so hard to organize buses and show that Torontonians want world leaders to take courageous action on climate.”
I am pleased to support Toronto350.org’s initiative in participating in the People’s Climate March by sponsoring, on behalf of Pure + simple and along with Sweets From the Earth and ShaSha Co, the buses that have been arranged to take anyone interested in participating in this momentous event to New York City. Due to an overwhelmingly positive response, all of the bus tickets have been sold out, but those who are interested in participating can still donate or attend a local march. Together we can make a difference!
To read about Toronto350.org’s participation and how you can be a part of the People’s Climate March, click here.
To learn more about the People’s Climate March and the organizations who are spearheading this movement, check out their official blog.