12 Day Countdown to People’s Climate March

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Jamie Henn, jamie@350.org, 415-601-9337

Nell Greenberg, nell@avaaz.org

12 Day Countdown to People’s Climate March

Organizers expect the largest political demonstration in NYC since the Iraq war and The Republican National Convention; with hundreds of solidarity events planned around the world

NEW YORK - With less than two-weeks until the People’s Climate March on September 21 , organizers are expecting the demonstration for climate action to be the largest political rally in New York City in over a decade, and the biggest demonstration for climate action in world history. The march is already demonstrating that climate change, once seen as a divisive issue, is becoming a unifying political concern across labor, environment, faith and justice groups.

Two events on Wednesday provide press with an opportunity to see the march organizing effort in action:

City Hall Press Conference

Where: Steps of City Hall, Manhattan, New York City

When: Wednesday, September 10, 10:00am

What: On Wednesday at 10:00am , the New York City Council will host a press conference to rally support for the passage of Resolution 356 officially recognizing the dangers of climate change to human health and the environment and endorsing the People’s Climate March.

Who: The press conference will feature Council Member Donovan Richards of Queens, who introduced the resolution earlier this month, other members of the New York City Council, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, 350.org, 32BJ Service Employees International Union, WE ACT for Environmental Justice and New York League of Conservation Voters.

People’s Climate March Final Mass Organizing Meeting

Where: NY Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street (just off Central Park West)

When: Wednesday, September 10th, 6:00pm to 8:00pm

What: Over 500 people are expected to attend the final NY Area Mobilizing Meeting to plug into the last push towards the People’s Climate March. The meeting is a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes of the march to hear key organizers rally the troops, see the march operations in action, learn what different constituencies (students, labor, etc.) are planning for the day, and get the latest logistics updates.

Who: Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance; Donovan Richards, New York City Council Member;  Leslie Cagan, veteran activist and National March Coordinator.

The march will be notable not only for its size, but for its diversity. More than, 1,100 organizations have endorsed the march, ranging from the NAACP to SEIU, the second largest labor union in the country and the largest in New York, to Hurricane Sandy survivors and Maine fisherman joining the march by boat. In New York, neighborhood committees and local organizations from every borough are helping turn people out.

“Climate change is the most important issue facing all of us for the rest of our lives. When our kids, and grandkids, ask ‘What did you do to help stop this disaster?’ which they will surely ask if we do not take drastic steps immediately – Machinists Union activists can say, ‘We helped save the world. We were there on September 21 ,’” said Connecticut State Council of Machinists President John Harrity who serves on the Steering Committee for the CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs.

Celebrities have also begun showing support for the march, including model Helena Christensen, musician Peter Gabriel, actor Susan Sarandon, Argentine footballer Lionel Messi and actor Edward Norton. For a full list see here: peoplesclimate.org/endorsements.

The march will take place just two days before President Obama and other world leaders are set to attend a Climate Summit at the United Nations hosted by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The summit is designed to build momentum for national and international climate action, including a new global climate treaty that will be finalized in Paris next year. March organizers say they are looking for “action, not words” at the summit.

“Climate change is threatening our environment and our economy, and we must address it immediately, and do so in a way that builds a stronger economy and creates new jobs across the country,” said Kim Glas, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance, a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organization uniting nearly 16 million members and supporters. “As world leaders gather for the UN Climate Summit, we urge immediate action to address the threat of global climate change.”

"The people of this city are serious about seeing an economy that works for both the people and the environment," said Council Member Donovan Richards of Queens, who introduced a resolution to endorse the People’s Climate March that will be voted on this Wednesday . “Good green jobs, clean air, and healthy communities should be accessible to everyone no matter their socioeconomic status.”

Although organizers say it’s impossible to calculate exact numbers, they are confident that the march is well on its way to being the largest and most diverse showing for climate action to date in the United States. Tens of thousands of people have already registered online at the march’s website, PeoplesClimate.org. More than 300 buses to NYC are being planned around the country, with enough seats for 17,000 people.

The organizing for the march resembles that of an electoral campaign with volunteers and field staff working full tilt at an office by Grand Central, phone-banking, setting up neighborhood canvasses, and checking in with local partners around the country. Out at a warehouse in Bushwick called the May Day space, an arts team is producing several large-scale floats, banners, puppets, and placards for the march. The organizing effort has even gone underground: the global civic organization, Avaaz, purchased ad space on 10% of the city’s subways to promote the march.

On Sunday September 21 , crowds are expected to start assembling on Central Park West as far up as 86th St. beginning the morning around9:00am . A press conference and media availability is being planned for around 10:30am (exact details pending) at Columbus Circle. The front of the march will depart at Columbus Circle at 11:30am , proceed down 59th St., turn right on 6th Ave and go down to 42nd St. Then right on 42nd St, across the bottom of Times Square, and out to 11th Avenue, where organizers are hosting a climate block party with stages, booths, and information and organizing sessions for march participants.

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350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.

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