The Great March for #ClimateAction: From LA to DC
Back in March, in Los Angeles, a group of idealistic, realistic, determined, devoted, concerned citizens who wanted to DO SOMETHING about climate change set out on a 3,000 mile journey–by foot–with the goal of raising awareness about climate change, and inspiring climate action.
Today they arrived in Washington DC.
These marchers–who range in age from 18 (or younger?) to 80-something–are nothing short of inspiring. A handful of the marchers, including a 71-year-old woman, walked every step of the way. Others dropped in, dropped out, dropped in again as their schedules or their health allowed, did as much as they could. Most of the way there were 25-50 marchers, walking step by step across this nation, talking to people along the way, listening to their stories, hearing their concerns about our earth and what is happening to it.
I joined them this morning for the last leg of their journey–from Bethesda, Maryland to Lafayette Park, across from the White House.
Please meet just a few of the marchers on the Great March for Climate Action.
This is Liz Lafferty. Back in February she heard about the Climate March from some friends and agreed to learn more “out of courtesy.” When she saw a little girl holding a sign that said “What are you going to tell your grandchildren you did about climate change?” she says, “I didn’t like the answer.” That was the moment she decided to walk away from her typical southern California lifestyle and do something about it.
Meet Kelsey Juliana, a vibrant bundle of positive energy, and a wonderfully articulate spokesman for the cause. (You can see her appearance on Bill Moyers earlier this year here).
I don’t know this boy’s name, but he and his Mom kindly let me take his picture as we were marching along.
After the marchers reached their destination, Lafayette Park, across from the White House, Ed Fallon, the man responsible for this inspired action, along with other of the marchers, addressed the crowd. “There is a force developing and an energy building,” he said. “But time is NOT on our side. We need climate action now!”
Then the marchers took turns reading some of the messages they had gathered from Americans young and old along the way, that they had promised to deliver to Washington. Some were addressed directly to the President (or to Michelle Obama). Some to the Congress. Some were polite, some were pleading, some were blunt and to the point. Here are just a few:
“Jobs don’t matter if there is no clean air and no clean water.”
“I’m tired of having our planet treated like a trash can. Can you please do something about it?”
“I have an 11-year-old son. Please take action, for his sake and for his peers.”
“Please please please stop the destruction of Mother Earth.”
“We need to get away from fossil fuels. Hopefully you will do this so we don’t lose our planet.”
Miriam Kashia, at 71 the oldest marcher to have walked every step of the way, held up an eagle feather she was given by the Zuni pueblo, and a special stone from the Navajos. “They asked me to bring these to Washington, and ‘Tell them to protect our sacred land,'” she said.
These generous individuals have given up months of their lives to draw attention to climate change and call for climate action. They deserve our gratitude, and they need our help–all of us!
One of the chants shouted on their march today was “The people are rising: No more compromising!”
So what about it, people? Are you ready to do something too?
Janet Hulstrand is a writer, editor and teacher of literature and writing. She is also a human being, a citizen, and a mother who is deeply concerned about the fate of our earth. You can find out more about the Great March for Climate Action, and about how you can help here.