In what is expected to be the longest climate march in United States history, environmentalists determined to "change the heart and mind of America" and spur action to address the climate crisis set off on a cross country trek Saturday.
Kicking off the march with a rally at the Los Angeles harbor, demonstrators with the Great March for Climate Action were joined by supporters which ranged from nurses to indigenous groups to Hollywood film actors. The first leg of the march runs 17.5 miles, from the harbor in Wilmington to Exposition Park in downtown Los Angeles.
The goal of the march, the group writes, "is to change the heart and mind of America and its elected leaders to act NOW to address the climate crisis."
The journey, which culminates in Washington DC on November 1, 2014, runs through the center of the country. Organizers are inviting residents from all cities along the way to join the walk or visit the March Camp. Thus far, 235 people have pledged to be full-time marchers; they hail from 36 states and 6 countries.
Ahead of the march, Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz said Los Angeles was a particularly poignant place to begin because of the ongoing and devastating drought which has plagued much of California. “The drought is LA’s Pearl Harbor moment. These marchers are my heroes, carrying forth our message: We need climate action and we need it now,” he said.
You can follow the marchers and see highlights from the rally in Los Angeles on Twitter: