WASHINGTON - September 18 - The Climate Crisis Coalition (CCC) announced today that notwithstanding the threat of heavy rains from the remnants of Hurricane Ivan, the Midnight Vigil on the Climate Crisis will proceed at the U.S. Capitol, the night of September 18–19, Saturday 9 p.m. to Sunday 9 a.m.
The vigil is billed as "An all-night presence at the U.S. Capitol; a call to action for a clean energy future." A number of participants from the Green Festival taking place in Washington DC this weekend are expected to attend. Also attending will be religious leaders from a diversity of faiths.
Rev. Paul Mayer, a CCC founder said, "The vigil will begin following Saturday's events at the Green Festival. We will assemble at Upper Senate Park, off Constitution Ave, adjacent to the US Capitol. This is an easy 15-minute walk from the Washington Convention Center. We will spend the night in steadfast silence and in song. We will also hear words of inspiration. At 5:30 a.m., we will proceed down the Mall, just past the Lincoln Memorial, to West Potomac Park for an interfaith service at the 12th Annual Prayer Vigil for the Earth."
CCC was recently founded on the premise that the climate crisis is real, that it is overarching and that there is an urgent need for intensified public awareness and political action. The Coalition's prime objective is to broaden the circle of citizens engaged in the climate issue – encompassing labor, the environment, peace, social justice, civil rights, civil liberties, farmers, academics, people of color and people of faith willing to forge a common agenda and unite in a concerted campaign.
The Green Festival is produced by Global Exchange and Co-op America to promote "a sustainable economy, ecological balance, and social justice." It will be at the Washington Convention Center, featuring 250 booths for environmental justice entrepreneurs and groups and an anticipated 10,000 visitors. CCC will have a table at the Festival.
Ted Glick, also a CCC founder said, "Given the immediacy of the elections and the urgency of the climate crisis, we need to deepen our commitment and take this message to the streets."
Featured speakers at Green Festival attending the vigil include the author Ross Gelbspan, Adrienne Maree Brown, of the League of Young Voters, and Damu Smith, director of the National Black Environmental Justice Network.
Gelbspan says he is participating because he shares CCC's sense of urgency and its focus on diversity. "Climate change is no longer the exclusive franchise of environmental groups," he said. "We should be forging alliances with other activists to mobilize a broad and inclusive constituency around this issue." Gelbspan's new book is, "Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists, and Activists Have Fueled the Climate Crisis –- and What We Can Do to Avert Disaster."
Sister Clare from the New England Peace Pagoda, of the Nipponzan Myohoji order of Buddhism, will be attending the because of her deeply held belief that their mission to promote peace though spiritual awareness and the Washington Vigil on the Climate Crisis are both about healing a troubled planet.
When asked what would happen to the vigil if the rainstorm becomes torrential, Glick said, "We are deeply concerned about the effects on the climate from global warming. We are committed to the issue and the vigil. Although the weather might be bad, we will be there."