I was wondering if there was enough room left in the “finite pool of worry” for a good turnout for the #RiseForClimate action taking place yesterday, considering all the first responses and triage needed in this current toxic state of regressive politics, not just here in the U.S., but in many other places across the world.
Well, the verdict was pretty resounding: hundreds of thousands of people on 7 continents and in 95 countries showed up to display the growing strength and diversity of the climate movement and demand real climate action from their local leaders, with 900+ actions.
At our march here in San Francisco that was billed as the (unofficial kickoff) to the Global Climate Action Summit slated to take place this week in and around the City by the Bay, not only did over 30,000 people show up, but the atmosphere felt more energized and determined than ever. And I’ve been to a lot of these marches.
What I think is happening and could be seen in the different groups and themes represented is that we’ve moved beyond climate change as an isolated, remote, and abstract issue but one that directly impacts and is impacted by issues that affect people across the world in their daily lives: justice, economy, pollution, ‘natural’ disasters, and a host of other tangible problems that are perpetuated and accelerated by the causes as well as the effects of climate change.
Rather than further analyze what’s happening (I’ve been having a hard time with words since you know WhoZeeWhat started squatting in the people’s house) I’ll just share some impressions from the march. Instead of marching the whole way as we’ve doing for all the protests since November 2016 (Defend Democracy, Women’s March x 2, No Ban No Wall, Native Nations Rise, Tax March, Science March, No Hate SF, Families Belong Together, plus Resist on Ocean Beach, EPA Funeral, Youth v Gov, Twitter protest, National Walkout Day and prolly a few more), my demo buddies and I decided to station ourselves at 5th and Market to document the movement from beginning to end.
From the opening groups let by various American Indian tribes to the final climate parachute it took 45 minutes and there really weren’t many open spaces. Now that’s a lot of people to pass by. At the end we hopped on the parachute team and helped bring in the tail end to Civic Center, where the march culminated in a massive and spectacular mosaic of people-powered mural art. I left feeling that there’s not only a blue wave coming, but a green one.