In New York, participants will walk as many as 50 city blocks; the march route and assembly area will stretch from 86th Street through Midtown Manhattan, passing near Times Square, and ending at 34th Street. Tens of thousands of activists are flooding the city to let world leaders know that they demand climate action. More than 120 world leaders will be in New York this upcoming week for a United Nations climate summit.
Local interest in going to the march has recently ballooned. After seats on a chartered bus sold out, folks arranged ride shares and vans to get up to New York to take part in this massive action. More than 700 people from across Virginia are participating in the march, including those on at least thirteen specially chartered buses departing from towns around the commonwealth.
Heading up to the march from the Richmond area are Reid Parker and Michael James-Deramo, two students with the Environmental Coalition at VCU. “I’m going to the People’s Climate March because as students we have the power to directly make an impact on our future” said James-Deramo. “The People’s Climate March will show world leaders that people demand action on climate. As Virginia faces some of the most adverse effects of climate change, it is imperative that we stand up to fossil-fuel carbon pollution” Parker said. Parker and James-Deramo were both integral to Richmond organizing efforts to get local folks up to the march.
Among the riders on the Richmond bus are Sheryl Crawley and Kendyl Crawley Crawford, an African American mother-daughter team who have deep roots in Hampton Roads. Hampton Roads is a frontline community in the climate crisis. It is the second most vulnerable area to sea level rise in the U.S. after New Orleans. The Crawley family has lived there for generations and owns rental property in the area.
“I’ve watched over the years as flooding has gotten worse. Insurance companies are starting to decline to insure some of our properties. It’s unnerving” said Sheryl Crawley. “It’s vital that we demand that our leaders, especially Governor McAuliffe and Senators Kaine and Warner, take seriously the threat of climate change and embrace climate solutions like the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which will reduce carbon pollution from power plants. By marching I’m making my voice heard loud and clear” said Crawley Crawford as she climbed on the bus.
More information on the People’s Climate March is available at http://peoplesclimate.org