People’s Climate March 9/21/14

Download text with 6 photos here: Peoples Climate March Couldn't afford politician

More than 300,000 (organizers say 400,000) people of all ages and races, faiths and ideologies, converged on New York City for the People’s Climate March on September 21. Under overcast skies, in warm humid weather, they filled the route from 86th Street to 34th Street, south along the west side of the park, poured down the canyon of 6th Avenue, then back west past the bright lights on the edge of Times Square and finally south on 11th Avenue.

Our bus arrived at 86th Street, several blocks west of Central Park, before 9:30 a.m. My “buddy group” of four headed off to a section of the march advertised as being for “scientists”, allocated one block in which to assemble towards the back of the march. Then it was three long hours of hurry up and wait; the back sections of the march did not start moving until two hours after the official start of the march. Like many others, we gave up and started wending our way southwards, eventually re-joining the march where it seemed to be moving at last.

Hundreds of organizations were represented, from the national and international (Greenpeace, Code Pink) to the local (Haydensville Congregational Church, New York City cohousing), from small groups of friends or families to school groups in matching T-shirts to two full blocks of bicyclists whose bicycle-powered floats included a 25-foot dinosaur skeleton. They enunciated themes ranging from “no more war” to campaign finance reform (!), through signs mounted on posts and backpacks and floats.

And the noise level waxed and waned, from drums and chants to spontaneous swells of cheering to an impressive two minutes of absolute silence shortly before 1 p.m., when everyone stopped, dropped their banners and raised their hands. This was followed by as much noise as the marchers could make to “raise the alarm”. Was anybody listening?

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