Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.com.
Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
On April 29th, President Trump will be forgoing his usual jaunt to Florida in favor of a Pennsylvania rally commemorating 100 days in office. Trump’s tweets claim it will be a “big” rally, but in reality he will face stiff competition from tens of thousands of Americans descending on Washington, D.C., for the second People’s Climate March. Its timing serves as both a rebuke to that grim milestone, as well as a national message from Americans concerned that the president’s agenda will exacerbate climate change, roll back the progress of legislation like the Paris Climate Agreement, and generally leave the planet in worse shape than he found it.
The People’s Climate March, as national coordinator Paul Getsos explained in an email interview, “comes at the end of a Week of Action that we are framing as ‘From Truth to Justice’ kicking off with the March for Science and ending with May 1st.” The events, he explained, will include “a pre-march water ceremony, a youth convening, multiple candidate trainings, a climate justice Shabbat, a Catholic mass for marchers, direct actions, events intended to lift up the stories and voices of local activists, and numerous events centered around the role of women, elders, and youth in the movement for climate justice.”
Getsos stressed that all of the events, the Climate March included, are intersectional, and mindful of the relationships between climate justice and racial and economic justice. He also noted that “the PCM includes leadership from indigenous, environmental, racial justice, economic justice, faith-based, youth, and immigrant groups and labor unions.”
The day will begin with a march from the Capitol to the Washington Monument, and end with a rally that includes participants encircling the White House, to, as Getsos put it, “directly confront Donald Trump and challenge those who are pursuing a right-wing agenda that destroys our planet and environment, favors corporations and the 1% over workers and communities, and are waging attacks on immigrants, Muslims, people of color, and LGBTQI people every day.” He was also adamant that the march be intersectional and focused on the movement leaders doing the grassroots organizing: “Front-line, indigenous and grass-roots community leaders, young people, rank and file union members and people of faith.”
In addition to collaborating with environmental and racial justice groups, Getsos also sees the Climate March as an integral part of the larger anti-Trump resistance, starting with the Women’s March. As he explained, “The Women’s March was an amazing and historical moment in our nation’s history when millions of women (and their supporters) hit the streets to show their collective power in the face of the election of a man who had repeatedly maligned women throughout his campaign and who had a history of treating women badly and with contempt.”
Three months later, “the energy in the field is different and more diffuse. Rather than do one-off actions, people want to build a movement, which is aligned with People’s Climate March’s goals since 2014. The energy is focused on building relationships locally, coming together to discuss strategy, bring our solutions to Washington, D.C., and show our continued resistance in the streets.”
Along those lines, Getsos hopes that “on April 30th, our movement will have deeper and more powerful bonds than it did on April 29th.”
Fellow activists and the pundits who cover them worry over the sustainability of the resistance, of whether or not it can bring disparate groups together, and overcome intra-movement infighting, but Getsos remains committed to working through those conflicts and continuing the work. “After the march, we hope to continue to build and to help to inspire broad-based coalition work across the country… We also want to send a strong message to the administration and our movement that protests and actions can have an impact and we will continue to organize.”
Ilana Novick is an AlterNet contributing writer and production editor.
This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.
New York (AFP) – Celebrities, political leaders and the masses rallied in New York and across the globe Sunday demanding urgent action on climate change, with organizers saying 600,000 people hit the streets.
Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Mayor Bill de Blasio all marched down New York’s Sixth Avenue, as part of what was proclaimed the largest climate protest worldwide in history.
There were colorful and boisterous rallies in other major cities in Latin America, Europe, India and Australia, designed to build pressure ahead of a climate-change summit hosted by Ban in New York on Tuesday.
In New York, where organizers said 310,000 people took part, elderly protesters — leaning on walking sticks and sitting in wheelchairs — joined young parents with children in strollers, adults in fancy dress and community groups.
There were chants of “hey, hey, ho, ho, fossil fuels have got to go,” as the good-natured march snaked down Sixth Avenue with giant floats, balloons and banners with slogans such as “Urgent, Save our Planet.”
Ban, wearing a baseball cap and T-shirt with the words, “I’m for Climate Action,” praised de Blasio for announcing Sunday that New York would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050.
“I am overwhelmed by such a strong power, energy and voice of the people, I hope this voice will be truly reflected to the leaders when they meet on September 23rd,” Ban told reporters.
“There is no plan B because we do not have planet B. We have to work and galvanize our action.”
The UN secretary general walked nine blocks in the parade with U.S. former vice president Al Gore, who is now a climate advocate, de Blasio, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal.
“Our mission is to make this a decisive moment, a turning-point moment and I felt today that I was seeing history starting to be made,” de Blasio said.
In addition to New York, another 270,000 people turned out at about 2,500 events around the world, organizers said.
In London, an estimated 40,000 people paraded past Trafalgar Square and the Houses of Parliament, including actress Emma Thompson, who likened the threat posed by climate change to a Martian invasion.
The pressure group Avaaz, which helped organize the rallies, said 30,000 people turned up in Melbourne and at least 15,000 in Berlin, where the crowd braved pouring rain, and another 5,000 in Rio de Janeiro.
In Paris, where police estimated that 4,800 people protested, many came on bikes with banners that read, “Climate in danger” or “World leaders, act!”
“Before we could say we didn’t know. Now we know. Climate change is already under way,” Nicolas Hulot, the French president’s special envoy for the protection of the planet, told the crowd.
In Madrid, hundreds gathered in front of the environment ministry, brandishing signs with slogans including “There’s no Planet B,” “Change your life, not your climate,” and “Our climate, your decision.”
In Cairns, Australia, where finance ministers from G20 nations were meeting, more than 100 people wearing green paper hearts around their necks gathered outside the venue.
Hundreds also massed in Sydney and in New Delhi, where around 300 protesters carried placards that read “I want to save forests” and “Coal kills”, as they shouted slogans and danced to pounding drum beats.
An estimated 5,000 people, some on bicycles, rallied in the Colombian capital Bogota, where some played instruments made out of recycled materials to form a noisy backdrop.
Ricken Patel, executive director of Avaaz, presented a petition signed by two million people to Ban in New York.
“The march numbers are beating our wildest expectations,” Patel said.
“Climate change is not a green issue anymore, it’s an everybody issue,” he said.
The “People’s Climate March” in New York was endorsed by more than 1,400 organizations, including environment, faith and justice groups, as well as labor unions. Students mobilized marchers from more than 300 college campuses.
The protest wound its way from Central Park through midtown on a two-mile route ending at 11th Avenue between 34th and 38th Streets.
After a moment of silence, slightly obscured in the chaos, participants used instruments, alarms and whistles to make as much noise as possible at 1:00 pm.
The UN meeting Tuesday sets the stage for a crucial conference in Paris in December 2015 aimed at finalizing a new global climate change pact.
AFP Photo/ Timothy A. Clary
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By Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK — Meaye Ndoye, a 34-year-old student from Brooklyn, volunteers frequently in his community, but he’s never participated in the type of public march that seems to occur on a weekly basis here, calling for an end to America’s military presence in Iraq or protesting the NYPD or celebrating unions.
But that’s going to change Sunday, when he participates in what organizers are hoping will be the largest march ever about climate change.
Organizers of the People’s Climate March are expecting anywhere from 100,000 to 400,000 people from more than 1,000 organizations to turn out Sunday and raise their voices ahead of a U.N. summit on climate change Tuesday. They’re hoping to draw people like Ndoye who haven’t participated actively in the environmental movement in the past, but are deciding that now is the time.
Participating groups include Amnesty International, MoveOn.org, the Sierra Club, and dozens of unions, religious organizations and student groups.
“It’s a duty, because I’m human, and this is my home,” Ndoye said, sitting in a crowded room in Midtown Manhattan where he had turned up to volunteer to make calls to remind people about the march, after seeing signs for it on the subway last week.
The march will begin at Central Park West and make its way down to 11th Avenue and West 34th Street. Along the way, organizers have planned a moment of silence at 1 p.m. to honor those affected by climate change. After the moment of silence, they’ll kick off a noise bonanza, with more than 20 marching bands and people carrying instruments to make noise.
The event also has counterparts across the world, in such countries as India, Nigeria and London, where separate marches will also be taking place Saturday and Monday.
“The goal is not just to be the largest climate march in history but also to be the most diverse,” said Caroline Murray, the field director for the event. “Traditionally, you think of climate change as the cause of more traditional environmental groups, but this is a much broader array of activists.”
The march comes as polls show increasing support in the United States for policies to combat climate change.
Two in three registered voters in the U.S. think global warming is happening, and more than half of them are worried about it, according to a poll conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. Two-thirds of Americans say they support laws that would support the use of renewable energy to wean the country from fossil fuels, and two-thirds also support setting carbon dioxide emission limits on coal-fired power plants.
Despite that support, people rarely get involved in any sort of political movement around climate change, said Edward Maibach, director of George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication.
The George Mason poll also found that only one in four Americans said they would be willing to join a campaign to persuade elected officials to take action on global warming. And 13 percent said that they would participate in an organization engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience against activities that make global warming worse, if they were asked by a person they liked and respected.
Instead, they will change the behaviors that are easy to change, such as recycling things at home and buying only products that are energy efficient.
“What we have found is that people who are concerned about climate change — many of them are changing their behavior in a capacity as a consumer — but relatively few of the people who are concerned are expressing themselves as citizens,” Maibach said.
Such people are not contacting their elected officials and expressing support for voting to combat climate change, and they’re not holding accountable companies that contribute to climate change.
As a result, activists are “losing faith that there is still time to make a difference,” Maibach said. That could be bad for the environmental movement; when people don’t participate in collective action, it is less likely that a collective solution will be reached, he said.
This weekend’s march could help reverse that pessimism.
“I think the best scenario is that a million people show up and they feel they accomplish something important,” Maibach said. “That creates momentum that ultimately keeps them engaged in the issue.”
Of course, it’s never too easy to get turnout, even for an issue people care about. At a recent event for Time’s Up, one of New York’s most successful bicycle advocacy groups, a young man was trying to hand out fliers and get email addresses of people who would attend the climate march. Many of the cyclists took the fliers, but wouldn’t give out their names and wouldn’t commit to attending the march, even though they said they were worried about climate change.
Photo: Takver via Flickr
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