UPDATE 9/11: Buses have been selling out left and right, but you still have plenty of options to get to the NYC next Saturday for the March. Check the People’s Climate March Ride Share board, post on GoVermont ride share or reserve a spot on the bus leaving from Brattleboro. Hope to see you there!
In Remembrance of Irene, Vermont Groups Unify to March in New York City
Montpelier- On the 3rd anniversary of the devastation brought on from Tropical Storm Irene, Vermonters and Vermont’s environmental organizations are mobilizing to join the People’s Climate March in New York City in September to call for action on climate change. With nearly a month to go, more than 400 Vermonters have already signed up to attend.
A broad coalition of Vermont organizations and grassroots community leaders are collaborating to bring busloads of Vermonters to New York City on September 21 for the People’s Climate March. The People’s Climate March will be held in New York on September 21, coinciding with the UN Climate Summit.
Vermont’s efforts are being led by 350Vermont, the Sierra Club, the Vermont Natural Resources Council, the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Post Oil Solutions, and numerous other Vermont grassroots community based organizations and leaders. Nationally, over 850 (and counting) different organizations are marching together to show both solidarity, and to call on the United Nations to take more significant action to curb carbon pollution.
350Vermont, with the financial support of Ben and Jerry’s, has organized eight buses that will bring Vermonters to NYC for the march. Buses are rapidly filling; as of August 26, over 400 of Vermonters have signed up for a bus. With busses in several locations already sold out, organizers are lining up vans and carpools to transport the overflow crowds.
“I saw Irene tear up the Mad River Valley that I love, and even today Vermont is still coping with the damage. It’s one of the many reasons I’m volunteering on the climate effort and will be attending the People’s Climate March,” states Gregory Dennis of Cornwall, VT a volunteer with 350Vermont.
Waterbury resident Emily Reynolds states that she is organizing for the People’s Climate March for “in 2011, 3 years ago, my hometown was destroyed by climate change. The downtown was completely flooded out and many people lost their businesses and homes. Schools and churches had to be used to shelter the displaced. Most of the recovery came from ordinary people picking up their shovels and hard hats. In Waterbury, we built a climate movement because we had to.”
Experiencing the first hand impacts of climate disruption, the Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club designated the People’s Climate March as a priority event to engage Vermonters in this summer. “The Sierra Club in Vermont is utilizing the People’s Climate March as a unique opportunity to build and energize the environmental movement, nationally and here in Vermont,” says Robb Kidd, the Vermont Associate Organizing Representative for the Sierra Club.
Rising Tide Vermont member Jen Berger said: “The climate crisis is a human-created condition. Every decision we make impacts climate change, from how we heat our homes, to how we interact with policy makers. This march is an opportunity to raise our collective voices and say that WE know how to stop climate change, and let policy makers, scientists, and decision-makers know that the power to change is in the voice of the people.”
“Spending time with community members living adjacent to Richmond’s massive Chevron oil refinery opened my eyes to the ways our current economy exploits both resources and people, all for the sake of profit. I see the Peoples’ Climate March as an opportunity to demonstrate our collective power, and lead from the grassroots in building an economy for people and the planet,” said Amanda Sheppard, a member of the Vermont Workers’ Center. Earlier this month, Amanda represented the Workers’ Center at the Climate Justice Alliance national convention in Richmond, California, which brought together community-based groups organizing for a just transition towards local, living economies.
“Global warming is already being felt in Vermont – Irene made that abundantly clear,” said Ben Walsh, clean energy advocate for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. “We owe it to our kids to protect them from increasingly destructive weather, and that means addressing global warming before it’s irreversible. We have much more work to do here in Vermont, but the People’s Climate March is an opportunity for Vermonters to make their voices heard on an international stage.”
“With blatant denial of the well-founded science of climate change permeating the political arena and stalling needed action, people will be taking to the streets en masse this September,” said Johanna Miller, VNRC’s Energy Program Director. “Only loud, broad and diverse interests calling for substantive action seem likely to change this terrifying trajectory.”