For Immediate Release
30,000+ People March in San Francisco, Joined By Hundreds of Thousands Across the United States, to Demand Bold Climate Action From Local and State Officials Ahead of Next Week’s Global Action Climate Summit
San Francisco’s march anchors over 900 global events taking place in 95 countries with 100,000s worldwide joining, including 260+ in the U.S. in all 50 states, demanding bold action on climate change including a just transition to 100% clean energy that supports workers and communities and a phase out of fossil fuel production
WASHINGTON - At hundreds of events across the globe today, including more than 260 in the United States alone, hundreds of thousands of people are taking action on climate under the banner of Rise for Climate, and in the U.S. under Rise for Climate Jobs, and Justice. Representing a powerful coalition and movement, communities are gathering to demand that elected leaders at all levels increase their ambitions and take bold action on climate, jobs and justice.
Front-line communities, environmentalists, labor unions, civil rights and faith leaders, racial and social justice activists, and youth and immigrant groups are coming together to hold their governmental and private sector leaders accountable in the run up to the Global Climate Action Summit Organizers are also using the day to educate and galvanize voters around a climate action agenda.
In the United States, Rise for Climate Jobs, and Justice actions included town hall meetings, marches, rallies, voter registration drives, trainings, platform development meetings, mural painting, vigils, teach-ins, and a myriad of opportunities for people to hear about the direct impact climate change is having on communities right now. Collectively, the events serve to amplify the voices of thousands demonstrating influence both locally and globally, and building into one powerful movement that is prepared to speak with a united voice on climate that leaders cannot ignore. Many of the events are challenging decision makers attending the Summit in California on September 12th to make more ambitious commitments and accelerate their climate action. Beyond September, the movement will continue by building power for the long haul—at the state and local level—from November, through 2020, and beyond.
At the anchor march in San Francisco today, tens of thousands of people took the streets in the city of San Francisco in the largest climate march the West Coast has ever seen, that also includes the largest ever street mural. Led by frontline groups in California, communities are calling on Governor Jerry Brown and elected officials attending the Global Climate Action Summit taking place on September 12 to commit to phasing out fossil fuel extraction and begin a just energy transition that focuses on racial and economic justice.
The Peoples Climate Movement (PCM) grew out of the massive Peoples Climate March that took place at the UN Special Session on Climate Change in NYC in 2014. Building off the success of the march and the engagement of new sectors and constituencies—the groups who organized the march decided to continue and deepen their work together—first organizing a National Day of Action in 2015, one month before the Paris Climate Talks to show public support for action, and then again in 2017 on the 100th Day of the Trump Administration in a March for Climate, Jobs and Justice. PCM now works to engage new constituencies, communities and organizations in their work to demand bold action on climate change rooted in racial and economic justice. PCM is led by the Movement Support Team that includes 350.ORG, SEIU, Sierra Club, Climate Justice Alliance, Blue Green Alliance, GreenFaith, League of Conservation Voters, Center for Popular Democracy, Sunrise Movement as well as other national organizations and representatives from state and local organizations.
"Climate change is the defining issue of our time, it is a crisis of democracy, justice and human rights. The climate movement is made stronger by its sister movements: for human rights, economic justice, democracy, and much more,” said May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org. “This weekend Rise for Climate will demonstrate the growing strength and diversity of the climate movement. People power is accelerating the change we need to see, and usher in a new era of clean air and better health. Communities everywhere will show loudly and clearly what is expected from decision-makers to deliver on real climate leadership and build a fossil-free economy.”
“With leaders from the private and governmental sectors expected to make announcements at next week’s Global Climate Action Summit, the moment is right to kick off a longer term organizing campaign to demand 100% clean energy, investment in programs to cut emissions, and a new energy economy that benefits workers and all communities,” said Paul Getsos, National Director for Peoples Climate Movement. “This year’s Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice actions taking place on September 8th are different than past marches in that it is a critical component of the long-term organizing work we have ahead of us, that is needed to build political power to influence local and state action in response to the Administration’s disregard for both the environment and the Paris Climate Agreement.”
“We are marching alongside thousands of people from around the world who are on the frontlines of fighting big polluters and building new ways to power our neighborhoods through 100% community-owned renewable energy,” said Miya Yoshitani, Executive Director, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN). “We’re sending a message to the elected officials and corporate executives gathering for the summit next week that we need equitable, community-led solutions, not profit-driven approaches like cap-and-trade that allow big polluters to buy and sell our right to clean air and a stable climate.”
“Climate change, economic inequality, the housing crisis, increased criminalization, attacks on immigrant communities—all these challenges are driven by systemic devaluation of the lives of people of color and choosing profit over people and the planet,” said Gladys Limon, Executive Director, California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA). “Environmental justice communities are leading the way for all of California and the country. We are standing up to life destructive industries, from Big Oil to natural gas companies, that obstruct progress toward a healthy, sustainable and just society. On September 8th, we urge our decision-makers to follow our lead and stand for real climate leadership that does not bow to industry pressure, that goes beyond watered down policies, and rather meaningfully protects the health of our communities and embraces a life sustaining economy.”
“Today, people across the country are rising up for climate, jobs, and justice in their communities to fight back against Trump's toxic agenda and to send a message to every politician that the time for action is now,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. “Families living in the shadows of coal plants and oil refineries, losing homes and livelihoods to wildfires and extreme weather, and struggling to make a living wage are coming together because we know we don’t have time to waste. That’s why we’re rising with environmental justice leaders, labor unions, and partners and allies from Miami to San Francisco to Chicago to Big Stone Gap, Virginia and Laramie, Wyoming so we will be heard loud and clear now and in the months and years to come. We will take every opportunity to rise up together, united against Trump’s hate and fight for a 100% clean energy economy that leaves no one behind.”
“Workers must be at the center of any successful effort to address climate change, and workers need climate change to be addressed if we want safe, thriving communities,” said Dennis Dougherty, Executive Director of Colorado AFL-CIO. “We know Coloradoans will not forget those who performed a lifetime of difficult and dangerous work to power Colorado's economy. But we also need the leaders of our cities and states to know that we need bold leadership and real action now on a just and equitable transition for fossil fuel dependent workers to a clean energy economy. We will not forget which leaders showed up and which did not.”
"This is not the first time the Climate Justice Alliance and our communities march for Climate, Jobs and Justice or stand in solidarity with solutions for people on the frontline of climate disasters across the world. It will not be the last. Every time we rise to defend communities, our voice gets stronger, the movement gets bolder,” said Angela Adrar, Executive Director, Climate Justice Alliance. “With each step, people are awakening to a different way of living with each other and with the planet. We are paving the path to march to the sound of our ecological and cultural roots and with it putting forth the solutions that will protect all people and the planet. The time is upon us to act out of love and compassion for each other and our future; join us!"
At the core of the fight to tackle the climate crisis is concern for protecting communities and families—we need to accelerate to a renewable energy world without leaving behind the people who build the economy and power this inevitable transition. The crossroads we are at for climate, jobs, and justice in the United States has never been clearer.
For full list of statements, please see the media pack.
U.S. Highlights beyond San Francisco include:
On September 6 in New York City 3,000 people gathered in Battery Park to call on Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and all elected officials move the state off fossil fuels through a just transition to 100% renewable energy. Around a dozen local actions will take place across the state around September 8. Details here.
Miami, Florida - Thousands will rally at a high-profile concert to call attention to the impacts of hurricanes and sea level rise on the city’s communities, calling on Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez to commit the County to achieving 100% renewable energy goals by 2050.
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Puerto Rico - 1,500 young people and their families will join together to urge the government to take bold and meaningful climate action, and motivate communities to initiate their own renewable energy projects. Community leaders in Ponce and Vega Baja are hosting events.
Portland, Oregon - A coalition fighting Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) in Jordan Cove will lift up frontline communities most impacted by LNG.
New Orleans - Advocates will focus their action on stopping the Bayou Bridge pipeline (BBP) and transitioning to 100% renewable energy, and traveling to neighboring St. James, in so-called “Cancer Alley” where community members are demanding Governor John Edwards create an evacuation route pending an inevitable spill from BBP.
Tacoma, Washington - Communities will use arts and storytelling to show the intersections between those impacted by an LNG facility and those detained at the neighboring ICE detention facility.
Colorado - Labor, faith and environmental leaders will bring hundreds of people together for a broad discussion to develop a clear set of demands for the next governor, who will be asked to support a just and equitable transition to clean energy.
Baltimore - Representatives of economic justice, faith and environmental communities will gather to demand local leaders fill the void left by Washington. The event will feature guest speakers, performers, demonstrations, and free events including an “action village” for participants to learn how to join the movement.
Boston - Thousands will protest a planned Eversource high-voltage electric substation, calling on Mayor Walsh to halt construction in the flood-prone area adjacent to 8 million gallons of jet fuel. Participants will also rally for better, safer jobs, common-sense protection for immigrants and bold action on climate change.
Minnesota - Dozens of organizations from across issue areas will mobilize and build power for climate change action with an event including keynote speakers, a festival with kid-friendly projects, workshops, youth panels and more.
Flint, Michigan - A combination of labor, racial justice, faith, and environmental justice groups are gathering for the Michigan Environmental Justice Summit, which will work to develop a list of comprehensive demands for a just transition to a clean energy future.
Illinois - Workers from the nation’s largest warehouse hub in the suburb of Joliet, will be joined by local labor leaders, community activist groups, advocates for the immigrant community, and environmental justice groups to make a series of demands of local elected leaders and business owners related to the area’s temporary low-wage jobs and diesel truck emissions and the need for 100% clean energy.
Globally, actions and events included:
- Groups in the UK and Germany pushing for more divestment
- Large marches and rallies in Portugal and major European cities including Copenhagen, Paris, and Kiev
- Women spearheading anti-coal marches in countries across Asia where one of the first ever virtual mobilisations will project holograms into public spaces
- Creative actions in Latin America, the Pacific islands and Africa including local renewable energy summits
- Protests outside the UN climate talks in Bangkok, Thailand
- Activists taking aim at town-halls and banks around the world for continuing to support and finance fossil fuels
Video will be updated and available here.
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