Billed as “the largest climate march in history,” more than 950 organizations have pledged support for the upcoming People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21. Major players in environmental advocacy, including The Sierra Club, the World Wildlife Fund, the National Wildlife Federation and the Earth Day Network, are committed, as well as author and activist Bill McKibben’s 350.org and Ben & Jerry’s, which has historically stood behind environmentalism.
“This looks like an alliance of unusual bedfellows—labor joining hands with faith joining hands with national environmental groups,” said Eddie Bautista, executive director of New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. The movement is also being supported by a documentary, “Disruption.”
The People’s Climate March is scheduled just ahead of the UN Climate Summit requested by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for world leaders (President Obama is scheduled to attend) to address climate change and embrace a global agreement by 2015 that limits the world to a less than 2-degree Celsius rise in global temperature.[more]
“Mass mobilization is one of the best ways we know of to shock the entire system into action. Mass marches don’t always work: we weren’t able to stop the buildup to the war in Iraq. But they sometimes succeed in historic ways,” said Bautista. “No more false promises and fancy rhetoric; we want real action now.”
The march in New York—which is being promoted in NYC subways with a crowdsourced ad campaign—is being held in solidarity with events worldwide: 63 others in North America, six in South America, 54 in Europe, 10 in South Asia, and 32 in Australia, spanning major cities including Berlin, Paris, Istanbul, London, Melbourne, New Delhi and Rio de Janeiro.
Not surprisingly, activist ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry’s is stepping up. “We believe the science of global warming is settled. The question now is, what are we doing about it? The goal is to show the world that the time to act on climate change is now if we hope to preserve our globe. Because just like ice cream, if it’s melted, it’s ruined,” the brand states on its website.
The Unilever-owned brand is encouraging global participation by sending representatives to marches in Australia and London. The Vermont-based company also plans on filling up 10 buses with activists to make the trip to New York City for the march. Ten union groups are also expected to travel to New York for the march.