We report firsthand from the streets of NYC

use_Climate March 10 06 14BY AMY BLUMENSHINE

We were there!  Southsiders turned out in disproportionate numbers to the massive People’s Climate March in New York City, Sunday, Sept.21, demanding action on climate change.  At least 225 locals journeyed on chartered buses, four from the Midtown Farmers’ Market parking area, and others got across the miles in other ways.  We had lots of company!
The old, some with wheelchairs, and young, some in strollers, and everyone in between were represented.  The signs people carried showed the interlocking of the many diverse issues with climate action.  Representatives of indigenous groups led the huge crowd, joking about retaking Manhattan and not for $24 and some beads. Seward Montessori School had a delegation carrying their banner as the future generations will be bearing the brunt of decisions made now.  One baby was pictured with the words: “Come on Grown-Ups, Get it together!  Take real action on climate change for my future and the future of all the other babies.”
Several Southside churches, including Our Saviour’s Lutheran and Mayflower Church, sent delegations to participate in the religious section led by a Noah’s Ark replica float.
“We are all together on an ark, the planet Earth, an incredible gift endangered by climate change,” said the Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, president of Auburn Theological Seminary. “The job God gave Noah—to protect life—is now ours. We use this symbol to call humanity to steward God’s creation.”
My family pod carried a monarch butterfly banner, re-purposed from MayDay, and the sign “Our solar cells make 150% of our electric use,” as well as Lutheran-identified signs for climate justice.
Here’s a highlight described by my son, Nate Blumenshine: “At about 12:58 everyone where I was stopped chanting and held hands above their heads. The contrast between the noise we had been making and the moment of silence was remarkable. Then, like water being released from a dam behind us, we heard an incredible sound come closer and closer. Back at the end of the march, probably about several hundred thousand people from where I was, the movement had sounded the alarm. The shouting, yelling and whistling approached us like a wave. We joined in with our own screams and drumbeats as we became part of the wave that passed the roar along to the several hundred thousand people in front of me and filled the streets of New York with one unified cry, a call for serious action to prevent climate change from destroying the world as we know it today.”
While the journey was an ordeal for many, the overwhelming success of the turnout also made the march a drawn-out affair, lasting for hours as somewhere near 600,000 (according to NYC police) marchers funneled past Central Park and through the Avenue of the Americas.  We all took to heart, however, that the best antidote to despair is action.
In the words of other signs: “We’ll fight like primates for our climates!” and “Turn up the hope, not the heat.”

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