With UN climate talks about to conclude in Bangkok and the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) due to convene in San Francisco this week, more than 250,000 citizens took to the streets Saturday from Kathmandu to Paris, from Antarctica to Puerto Rico to demand action on climate change and carbon pollution.
The Rise for Climate protest spanned more than 900 actions across 90 countries and all seven continents “as an upsurge in extreme weather events is making the impact of climate change more and more apparent,” EcoWatch reports.
“They are marching in cities from Kathmandu to Copenhagen, Lagos to Lisbon, Bogota to Berlin,” The Independent stated Saturday. “In Sydney, Australia, they sailed a ship along the harbour flying banners with their message. In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, youth groups organized flash mobs to raise awareness. And in Durham, here in the UK, activists locked themselves onto mining machinery in a bid to close a pit for the day.”
“Climate change is the defining issue of our time. It is a crisis of democracy, justice, and human rights,” said 350.org Executive Director May Boeve. “The climate movement is made stronger by its sister movements: for human rights, economic justice, democracy, and much more.”
“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,” added U.S. Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. “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.”
The Guardian notes that U.S. protests focused on state governors like California’s Jerry Brown and New York’s Andrew Cuomo who are “relatively progressive on climate issues”, but “are deemed not to be ambitious enough in phasing out fossil fuels. On Thursday, several thousand people took part in a climate march in New York City. Ten activists were arrested after blocking the street in front of Cuomo’s Manhattan office.”
Protests during GCAS, widely seen as a capstone for Brown’s career as an environmentally-minded politician, are expected to “draw attention to air pollution and social inequity that has tainted California’s economic growth.”