Zachary Toliver | Shale Plays Media
Sunday marked an unprecedented turnout for environmental activism as hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets in New York City making their presence known as precursor to the 2014 UN Climate Summit.
Over 310,000 activists flooded the streets of New York City, covering well over 10 city blocks of roadway and claiming the title of the largest climate-related march in history. The vibrant protest included marching bands, police helicopters and, of course, multitudes of various chants in unison. Signs with watchwords like “There is no planet B” or “Agricultural industry is #1 polluter” stood out among a sea of heads.
The People’s Climate March, as it was formerly titled, attracted some big names in environmental activism including former Vice President Al Gore and even New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio.
In addition to the massive protest in New York, Peoplesclimate.org reported over 2700 events in more than 160 countries were registered for actions in solidarity with the demonstration in Manhattan.
Even in the Fargo/Moorhead area, activists assembled to show support of the growing movement. Around 50 demonstrators rallied around Moorhead City Hall after marching around downtown Fargo. Kathleen Keene, the protest organizer stated to Valley News Live, “We’re coming to a point if we don’t do something now, there’s going to be a tipping point and irreversible things are going to happen where climate change is going to become just a nightmare.”
The UN Climate Summit takes place September 23rd. This is an international gathering of 125 countries that will be represented by their heads of state or government officials in New York City. The Summit coincides with a week-long schedule of climate related talks where governments, businesses and civil society to work together on low carbon leadership and innovation. Over 100 events are planned throughout the week.
Revisiting an old battleground
Although the bulk of the protest ignited on Sunday, rallies in New York are far from over; in fact, they are mutating. Beginning Monday morning, thousands have now streamed to Wall Street for a sit-in near the New York Stock Exchange. The action, labeled Flood Wall Street (FWS), mimics the activist landmark of Occupy Wall Street. The official phrase of Flood Wall Street is one in which they hope to connect the two ideas being represented: “Stop Capitalism. End the Climate Crisis.”
In a press release issued this morning, the Media Advisory of FWS claims that after 400,000 people showed up for the People’s Climate March, “#FloodWallStreet will target corporate polluters and those profiting from the fossil fuel industry. Participants will carry out a massive sit-in to disrupt business as usual. Speakers will include members of communities that have been hardest hit by the climate crisis, as well as author-activists Naomi Klein, Chris Hedges and Rebecca Solnit.”
Reports from live tweets and texts claim that barricades are already up and police are ready to make arrests if necessary. Grand Forks resident, Danielle Thomas, who was out in New York for the People’s Climate March, is now taking part in the Flood Wall Street rally. She texted, “The Flood Wall Street is so big…There’s going to be an ongoing occupation after this at the UN all night.” In addition, tension seems to be building as more police begin to patrol the scene. “We’re out here trying not to get arrested” Thomas wrote, adding “the white shirts are coordinating the arrests.”
For up-to-date information on the Weeklong Climate Summit, be sure to check out Climate Week NYC where you can watch a live-stream of all the talks happening throughout the week.
For more on the developing protest on Wall Street, you can follow the Occupy Wall Street Facebook page.