Marching on DC for Voting Rights, Racial Justice and Climate Action

he did not yet know how deadly to all of Earth materialist greed would become—the materialist greed of giant corporations selling fossil fuels the way a cabal of drug lords would sell their deadly drugs. And, like other drug lords, using their wealth and power to try to prevent the urgently-needed shift to wind, solar, and truly clean sources of energy.

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>“Half a century ago, it was the murder of civil rights workers, deaths in Vietnam, the suffering of garbage workers in Memphis — as well as the Dream of racial justice — that called Dr. King into action. Today it is the climate crisis that has come upon us, — bringing famines, floods, fires, asthma, and devastations on whole nations  — and the Dream of a shared and sustainable abundance that must call us into action, walking the path he walked.”

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>               -from “Earth and Climate Speak: The Fierce Urgency of Now,”

Oscar Tillman and Rabbi Arthur Waskow 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>This reality was a weakness, for sure, and not the only one. But the fact is that whenever tens of thousands of people, or more, gather together in support of progressive values and demands, it is a good thing. This is the bottom line of what the historic 50th anniversary March on Washington a couple of days ago was about. 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>And from what I saw, it was one of the largest progressive mobilizations to DC in years, since Barack Obama became President in January, 2009. Pictures of Saturday’s rally that I saw afterwards looked very similar to the pictures I’ve seen of the one in 1963, with people massed together all the way from the Lincoln Memorial back to the Washington Monument grounds. Estimates for that one were 250,000; I’d say an accurate estimate for this one would be 200,000 or more. 

Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, each of us holding one side of a 10 foot long pole on our shoulder with two banners hanging from it, both of which addressed the issue of the climate crisis. One said, “Climate Change is a Moral Issue;” the other said, “God Calls to Us All to Heal the Earth–Stop Burning Coal, Oil and Gas.” 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>I’ve heard similar things since from others who also carried climate-oriented messages. One of them, a 350.org group from Loudon County, Virginia, carried a “Wake Up to Climate Change” message with a picture of the Earth with flames. Reportedly, it received “a LOT of attention.” 

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>I never heard any of the speeches from the stage, as was true for what seemed like about half of the crowd based upon my travels that day. The sound system just wasn’t strong enough. That was a shame, without question, but I’ve learned since that there were at least three speakers who said something about climate: Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Corey Booker and Jeffrey Sachs. This is a very welcome development. 

"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>Ted Glick is the National Campaign Coordinator of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Past writings and other information can be found at http://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jtglick.

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