Here comes the Great March for Climate Action! Since March 1 we have been making our way from Los Angeles
to Washington, D.C., and it wasn’t long after the People’s Climate March was announced that we knew we had to be there. We will pause this longest climate march in history near the Indiana-Ohio boarder on September 18, and board a bus to get to New York City to meet the largest climate march in history.
There are several dozen of us, expressing our commitment to action by taking time out of our lives to march across the country, from the refineries of Wilmington in Los Angeles to the halls of power in Washington, D.C. We feel pretty good about a lot of the incremental contributions that we have made along the way, including:
- Countless informal one-on-one or small group conversations that happen on the road, in parks and cafes, at our rallies and home stays, etc.
- Numerous somewhat more structured dialogues with local activists and not-yet-engaged people about what each of us are already doing, and what else is needed.
- Getting climate change into local newspapers that have rarely covered it, such as this article in the Taos News.
- Supporting others’ actions such as Reject & Protect and a May 15 protest in Albuquerque demanding PNM add more renewable energy to their plan to replace closing coal plants.
- Initiating our own actions, such as
o our vigil at a McCook, Nebraska train station to remember the 47 people who died in last year’s Lac-Mégantic disaster in Quebec last year, which led to working with Bold Nebraska to gathering thousands of petitions; and
o demanding transparency and emergency planning for the Bakken crude oil trains running through the state and delivering them to Nebraska’s Governor Heinemann. These dangerous trains run all over the country, see here to find out if they pass through your area.
But the question has been with us from the beginning, what else? What will it take to reach a tipping point so that a critical mass of humanity is rising to the true scale of the climate crisis, and it is an ongoing part of national and international dialogue and action? We’re excited to come to the September 21 march because we expect it will play a part in getting to that tipping point, and provide the opportunity to take part in more conversations and organizing with many of the other dedicated and experienced people and groups who are working toward this goal.
We’re even more excited as we keep learning of more events coming together around September 21. We’ve endorsed the Climate Convergence and some of us will take part in that, and just today we learned about Fast for the Climate establishing September 21 as an additional day to fast in solidarity with those already suffering climate weirdness consequences, and the World Council of Churches holding a summit September 21-22. What else will emerge?
In addition to adding our bodies to the masses in the streets of New York and meeting the countless other activists who will be there, we also see this as an opportunity to spread the word about our march. We would love to have more people marching with us, for a day, a week, or the whole rest of the way to Washington, D.C. on November 1. You can see our route here and apply to march here.
Lastly, I wanted to mention that one of our original marchers – Steve Martin – has decided to travel ahead of the group, covering extra ground each day in order to make an on-foot connection from our starting point in LA to NYC in time for the big march. He has a blog and Twitter feed where you can follow his experiences.
John Abbe is one of the organizers of the Longest Climate March.