200 miles and two weeks across PA to spread the word about action on climate change and the fight for climate justice
What is the Great March for Climate Action?
On March 1, 2014, hundreds of everyday Americans set out from Los Angeles, CA, on a 3,000-mile walk to Washington, D.C., with a goal of inspiring others from all walks of life to take action on the climate crisis. The march has delivered to thousands of Americans the message that urgent action is needed on climate change. Dozens of newspaper and television reports have resulted. Thousands have marched for at least a day, with a core group of 25-35 persons who have walked the entire distance. Thousands of one-on-one conversations between Americans concerned about our future have taken place. Songs around the campfire and sermons in church sanctuaries have reverberated across the country.
Take a look at the website to see more about what this march is and what is has accomplished. http://www.climatemarch.org
Why does the Great March for Climate Action matter?
Many of us are going to New York on September 21 for the People’s Climate March. That’s great. Putting tens of thousands of our bodies into the streets, even if just for a day, still matters in the sort of social movement that we must build to move off a carbon-based economy that treats Nature as a disposable commodity from which to take profits. But the real deal for building a more sustainable future for our children is rooted not in one-day marches, but in building grass-roots relationships and new structures of power, especially local power. It is not even about changing leaders at the top. It is about movement from below that cannot be ignored.
The real deal for demanding action on climate change will come from the people in a wave of worldwide grass roots democratization across nations, one that bridges racial and ethnic identifications and celebrates cultural differences, one that moves through and easily across economic class and ideological divides, that brings together labor and environmentalists to create a just transition to new jobs and ways of working that preserve and care for the natural world.
As the Climate Justice Alliance has put it:
“It takes roots to weather the storm.”
For those of us in PA fighting fracking and mountaintop removal and dirty coal, we know that building relationships between labor and environmentalists, and creating a movement enriched and empowered by a diversity of cultural expression and experiences, is a major challenge.
The Great March for Climate Action intends to be a catalyst for such local empowerment, bringing to the fore the issues that matter where we live and breathe and drink. Here is how one young marcher describes what they hope to stimulate and to have in Pittsburgh:
“Creating a dynamic symposium that incorporates dialogue with the local community; (being part of) a unique, environmental/social justice alignment as these are some of the most divisive issues regarding the climate movement.”
Can we do that in Pittsburgh?
After we get back from the People’s Climate March, what’s next?
Can we make the Great March for Climate Action an important part of what comes next?
ARRIVAL of the Great March for Climate Action in Pennsylvania
Enters western PA is Oct. 10, 2014
In Pittsburgh October 13-15
Stops along the march route:
Darlington, Freedom, Ben Avon, Pittsburgh, Monroeville, South Greensburg, Ligonier, Boswell, Schellsburg, Everett, Breezewood, McConnelsburg, Greencastle
If your home or your farm is along this route, you can make a real difference to the success of the Great March for Climate Action. Pot luck dinners are always helpful. Fields in which to pitch tents. Church halls in which to come inside if the weather gets bad. Invitations to speak at your churches and community centers. These are just some of the possibilities. Here is what the march organizers have said they need.
SUPPORT NEEDED ALONG THE ROUTE
1.) A significant march and symposium in Pittsburgh led by local activists, emphasizing local issues re climate change.
2.) Work with Great March logistics coordinator to scope out campsites roughly 15 miles apart on average.
3.) “Marcher in the Home” – hosting marchers in homes to give them a break from tents, meet with you and guests.
4.) Organize house parties to raise funds.
5.) Day marchers welcome!! (See the website for how to sign up).
For now, contact me, but that will not stand. More must come forward. I am doing what I can, but we need a diversity of leaders from anti-fracking organizations, labor (just transition to a green economy), coalfield organizations, faith-based organizations and many others to get together and make this happen, especially the welcoming of the marchers to Pittsburgh and creating an event there. March organizers are looking for local people to step forward and help with needs along the way. I will serve as a connecting point to the extent that I can in these next two crucial weeks.
Paradise Gardens and Farm
Who cares about Climate Change? We all do!
(Not endorsements, but just good evidence of a movement in the making)
Service Employees International Union 32bj will be at People’s Climate March: http://www.seiu32bj.org/spotlights/join-32bj-at-the-peoples-climate-march/
PowerShift and the Energy Action Coalition remain hard at work to build a youth-led clean energy and climate movement: http://www.wearepowershift.org/about/energy-action-coalition
The Sierra Student Coalition http://ssc.org/
Marcellus Outreach Butler http://www.marcellusoutreachbutler.org/
Marcellus Protest http://www.marcellusprotest.org/
Mountain Watershed Association http://www.mtwatershed.com/