Tens of thousands of climate activists march in NYC
At least 75,000 climate activists showed up Sunday, Sept. 17 in New York City as part of the March to End Fossil Fuels. People of many faith perspectives were represented, including the United Church of Christ. The national UCC, along with the Southern New England Conference, signed on as partner organizations of the march.
Speaking at the rally, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) reminded marchers that they organize out of hope. The Rev. Lennox Yearwood, head of the Hip Hop Caucus, connected the climate movement to the fight for racial justice.
“We’re at our lunch counter moment for the 21st century,” he said.
‘Energy was palpable’
Marissa Clark, UCC environmental justice fellow and organizer, was at the march.
“There is nothing that can better describe the energy surrounding the march than the presence of God’s love,” she said. “From the people of many different faiths and walks of life joining together in purpose, the energy was palpable.”
Also in attendance was the Rev. Davida Foy Crabtree of Bloomfield, Conn., who said, “It’s wonderful what showing up for occasions like this does for one’s resolve. Everybody counts. One might think one can skip because, ‘What’s one less?’ But imagine if half those didn’t make it.”
The Rev. Nancy Leckerling, co-chair of the Environmental Ministry Team at First Church in Guilford, Conn., attended as well.
“What a colorful and joyful day it was,” she said. “The posters, the banners, the chants, the singing, the Raging Grannies, gathering with people from all over the country and world as we marched, and the amazing final rally … We were so glad we were there to witness all this.”
Rev. Jim Antal, who has served as a special advisor on climate justice to the UCC General Minister and President, shared his experience and feelings from the march as well.
“During the March, I was filled with a sense of sober joy,” he said. “Sober, because it will take more than a march to make the economic and political transitions required to address the climate emergency. Joy, because the march proved that tens of thousands of people are ready to take action.”
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