Today thousands of people are converging on New York City for what organizers are billing the “largest climate march in human history.”
Ricochet has had a team on the ground in New York since Thursday, talking to locals and visitors alike about their motivations for joining a movement many regard as our last, best hope of saving ourselves from catastrophic climate change.
Read on for some of their stories, and follow Ricochet on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date with our comprehensive pre-launch coverage of climate actions from New York City, in both French and English. From Far Rockaway to the South Bronx, we’ll be bringing you stories from New York’s affected communities that you can’t get anywhere else.
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Cesar Maxit, Washington, via Argentina
“I feel like now is the moment to speak to some of the issues we’ve been raising in our individual communities, and have them all addressed through climate justice. I wanted to come and help frontline communities and other groups raise this message because now is the time for that kind of change.”
Cam Fenton, 350.org, Vancouver
“This is unlike anything which has gone before. Nothing has felt as diverse, bringing together different actors to treat climate as a social issue, and take it out of the environmental silo. I think what we’re going to see on the streets on Sunday is the new face of the climate movement.”
Ann Wright, Hawaii
“I have come all the way from Hawaii, a Pacific island state, to represent those out in the Pacific who are going to drown unless we get the climate under control. I am here saying we have to do better as citizens of the globe, to treat our little home planet better and put pressure on our politicians to enact legislation which will protect what we have left and force us to do the things we know we need to do to preserve our home.”
Manisha Das, 12th grader, Brooklyn
“I’m here to learn about this issue, and I hope that by learning about it I can help to make the world better, somehow.”
Tim Havel, Boston
“I’m here because we’re trying to save your silly country from itself and Stephen Harper, while we still can.”
Susana Cervantes, San Francisco
It’s about empowering people, and that means showing up. I feel there’s strength in numbers, and that if we want to deliver a message, this is the way.”
Reverend Billy, Church of Stop Shopping, New York City
“We’re just taking our directions from the honey bee, and letting the honey bees take us to Monsanto so that we can take those Monsanto executives who are visiting Bill Clinton this weekend and seduce them, change them, send them back to their mommas.”
Mychal Johnson, South Bronx Unite & civil society delegate to the UN climate conference
“We need to treat our planet differently in order for human existence to continue on this planet. We need this fight towards sustainability to come from the community, from human beings, not corporations.”
Laurel Sutherland, Rainforest Action Network, San Francisco
“I’m not under the illusion that a march is going to stop climate change, but I am well aware that all of the most successful and powerful social movements which have created transformative change in our recent history have all included massive marches… I hope that this is a launching point, a catalyst which makes this movement realize how powerful we are and how united we are. Lasting and systemic change cannot come from the top down, politicians and scientists are not going to save us. Change is going to come from people power, from the bottom up and hopefully this is a spark which can galvanize this movement.”
Alexis Smallwood, Rockaway Wildfire, New York City
“I’m here to fight for climate justice resiliency. Resiliency being better evacuation plans, improved infrastructure, and a greener community. That’s what brings me to the march.”
Naomi Dann, Jewish Voices for Peace, New York City
“I’m here because I care about people, and because the momentum is here and the people are rising."
Jennifer Thomas and friends, Greensboro
“We’re tired of the system poisoning our earth. Summers are getting worse, winters are getting worse. We need to do something.”
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