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Sunday, September 25, 2016

‘Forward On Climate’ Rally Biggest In U.S. History

An estimated 50,000 climate activists from across the country converged on Washington, D.C. this Sunday to participate in what organizers are billing as the largest climate change rally in U.S. history.

The “Forward on Climate” rally featured speeches on the Washington Monument grounds followed by a march to the White House demanding President Obama reject the Keystone XL pipeline and take climate action. The speakers and the thousands of demonstrators were energized by the president’s climate message in his second inaugural address and State of the Union speech, but also made it known his words must turn into action by rejecting the tar sands oil pipeline from Canada.

“When he signs that executive order rejecting the Keystone pipeline, not only will he be on the right side of history, but the winning side,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, one of the organizers of the event, along with 350.org president Bill McKibben and the Hip-Hop Caucus president and event emcee Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr.

Speakers included First Nations people, including Crystal Lameman from the Beaver Lake Cree First Nations in Alberta, Canada, who are suing the governments of Alberta and Canada for allegedly violating their treaty rights by allowing tar sands oil mining on their lands without their permission.

“If this pipeline goes through, your government will further assist in the raping and pillaging of the land of my ancestors while deliberately ignoring the basic human rights of clean air and water,” said Lameman.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who co-chairs the Climate Change Task Force with Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), gave an impassioned speech, saying it is time to help President Obama win this fight on climate change.

“We are going to have the president’s back, and he is going to have our back. And we’re going to look down the hallways of history to those children and grandchildren and great grandchildren and we’re going to say to them, ‘yes we did.’ We are going to say to them, ‘this was our time and these were our voices and this was our choice and by God, yes we did.'”

Audio of Brune’s speech:
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/79720473″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Video of the march:

 

Photos of the rally and march:

Photo, video and audio credits: Josh Marks

  • The most perplexing part of this issue for me are the claims of socialism and liberalism being made by the GOP to oppose what ought to be a bipartisan national priority. We are not talking about an esoteric or trivial matter, we are already feeling the consequences of global warming, and the longer we wait to prepare the more difficult and expensive it will be for us to save our coastal cities and towns, our farm land, potable water supply, and our way of life.

    • ralphkr

      I do not see how you find this perplexing, Dominick. Surely by now you should know that anyone who dares to criticize any plan by any big business is a socialist or perhaps a communist. What I found most interesting is that the company pushing for XL states that all the oil shall be shipped out of a port in Texas after paying no Canadian or US taxes and their prospectus also stated that they expect the XL line to raise the price of oil by a minimum of $10. I wonder how many of those protesters are from Texas and Oklahoma who had their land seized by a foreign company for the pipeline right of way.

  • latebloomingrandma

    I really think the President should go with the science on this, rather than the “jobs” push on this decision. Most of the jobs would be temporary, but the damage to the climate would be permanent and devastating, from what I’ve read. That would really be a controversial, but courageous decision. The importance would be written by history 100 years from now.

  • There were about 20,000 people at most.

    • The Republican disinformation campaign launched in the George W. Bush era was so effective that even in the face of unusual storm patterns, terrible drought and a record number of wildfires, we continue to deny the obvious. The blame game will start when major coastal cities and towns are affected on a routine basis, when food shortages result in higher prices, and when the availability of potable water reaches crisis proportions. When that happens, the very people that remain apathetic or don’t miss a chance to blame President Obama for everything, and call him a socialist for having the audacity of focusing on issues of critical importance to our country, will be the same ones that will blame him of inaction on this subject. When it comes to the GOP the only thing they are consistent on is the level of their hypocrisy.