On September 21st, thousands will come to New York City for the People’s Climate March. Organized by Bill McKibben’s 350.org and a coalition of orther environmental groups, the march is expected to be perhaps the largest mobilization for climate justice in American history. It is part of a growing wave of activism and advocacy demanding that the US government take decisive action to radically reduce carbon emissions and stem the disastrous effects of climate change.
Another part of that wave passes through here in Chicago on September 6th -- and you should plan to be at it whether or not you’re intending to be in NYC.
The Great March for Climate Action
On March 1st of this year, hundreds of people in Los Angeles took the first steps in a march across the country bound for Washington, DC. The Great March for Climate Action will culminate in DC this November and will be passing through the Chicago area for a public march action on September 6th.
According to the March’s website: “The March seeks to build the broadest possible public consensus and is focused strictly on the climate crisis.”
Everywhere along the way, the cross-country marchers have been met and encouraged by individuals and grassroots community groups, who have walked a portion of the route and attended climate rallies. We want to do what we can to celebrate and support these people and spread the message that our government representatives need to take action to encourage sustainable energy. Therefore we are encouraging any and all Chicago readers of this site to be out there on the 6th if you are able.
Get Involved and Show Support!
There are multiple options for being part of this march. At 7am on the 6th the marchers will reach the Oak Park Public Library (834 Lake Street, Oak Park) just outside of Chicago. This is right near Scoville Park and one block away from the Oak Park Green Line “L” stop. A kickoff event will take place between 7am and 8am.
Following the kickoff the marchers and supporters will then begin the twelve mile walk to Daley Plaza in Chicago. Between 10:15 and 10:45 they will reach the second opportunity for you to join the march at the Garfield Park Conservatory, right near the Conservatory Green Line “L” stop.
At 11am the march will resume and rally at the iconic Buckingham Fountain, right next to Lake Michigan. They will reach the fountain for another meetup between 1:15 and 1:45. This will be the final opportunity to join the rally if you wish to march with them. At 2pm the march will reach its destination and final rally at Daley Plaza. Speakers will begin at 2:30, including Kim Wasserman Nieto of Little Village Environmental Justice Organization. A PDF is attached here with more details regarding the march route.
There is no doubt that the climate crisis is very real; it presents an undeniable danger to the planet while world leaders continue to drag their feet. California is experiencing the worst drought in the state’s history, and scientists are saying that it may yet be just a preview to come. The phenomenon of the climate refugee is no longer merely a “what if.”
Meanwhile, corporations and governments alike continue their reliance on fossil fuels. Pipelines and fracking projects continue to devastate ecosystems and livelihoods. All signs indicate that if these projects continue apace, carbon emissions will drive the global temperature to the point of making the planet unfit for human life.
That’s not an option. The urgency for this growing climate justice movement is as palpable as it’s ever been. The Great March for Climate Action is an opportunity to connect, organize and build this movement further, toward not just the 21st but into a movement that reaches every community, workplace and campus, that can win the kind of change to make our planet sustainable and safe for all. We hope to see you out there!