Thousands Expected to Attend NYC for The People's Climate March

Thousands of people will be making a trip to New York City on Sunday, Sept. 21 for The People’s Climate March, a march to advocate for the climate, the community and the future. 

Kendyl Crawford, the Conservation Program Coordinator for the Virginia Sierra Club, believes this year’s march is shaping up to be the biggest climate march in history. This march will be the first event of its kind and it is expected to be the biggest action taken since the Forward on Climate rally held in February 2013 which brought around 40,000 people to Washington, D.C. to encourage President Obama and Congress to act on climate issues, according to Crawford.

More than one hundred world leaders including President Barack Obama are expected to be in New York City for a U.N. summit next week and Crawford is hoping that this march will be an opportunity to show international leaders that they demand global climate actions.

“This is our time to call for bold political action worldwide to address the climate crisis,” Crawford said. “We are standing up in our community to organize, to build power and to shift power to create a just, safe, and peaceful world.”

In addition, Crawford claims that the march won’t only be calling for climate action, but also climate justice. She’s hoping for action that will protect the most vulnerable in society, and for solutions that prioritize those who have borne the brunt of the problems. The Clean Power Plan was proposed in June 2014 by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Our power plants are the biggest source of our carbon pollution here in the U.S., making this proposed standard very important in the fight for our climate,” Crawford said.

This plan is expected to reduce emissions from power plants by 2030 based on the levels from 2005.

“The fossil fuel industry is counting on us to stay home,” Crawford said. “Unless we turn out in big numbers, nothing is ever going to change.”

In an attempt to bring more people together for the march, Crawford has been communicating with the Greater RVA Community and the Richmond chapter of the Sierra Club in order to broaden the amount of people joining the march in New York City. According to Crawford, there are currently 80 people from Richmond and 550 Virginians headed to New York City for the march.

VCU senior Anthony Muron, a member of the Sierra Club Richmond chapter, is “stoked” to be attending the march in NYC, hoping to make a point.

“We live on a very fragile organism and a lot of people don’t realize it, but we live on a living, breathing thing that people take for granted,” Muron said. We have a responsibility to correct it…right now we are doing nothing but killing our host organism.”

Muron believes that by going to New York City and supporting the march, people’s voices will get heard more than they do at the polls.

Crawford asks that everyone who is unable to make it to New York City to support the EPA by leaving a comment to show support for the Clean Power Plan.

The ultimate goal for this march, according to Crawford, is to inform everyone in the march that they have power.

“I want them to know they have a voice, that they matter and that the future is worth fighting for,” Crawford said.

To learn more about the The People’s Climate March, watch Disruption: Climate. Change.

Visit the VA Sierra Club's website to learn more about their mission.

*Photos are of the Richmond People's Climate March team at one of the strategy meetings.