So, I went to New York City for the climate march. What a blast!!
It was dawning awareness about climate change that pushed/pulled me into environmental activism exactly 25 years ago now. These days I focus pretty exclusively on nuclear issues.
But both my arrests have been climate-related.
Climate change is a very big deal.
So! Estimates on attendance at the march now range up to “near 400,000.”
From all over the world. All over North America, all over the world!
This means there are about 400,000 stories about the event.
Mine is just one of the 400,000. (& there is tons more I could say, but.... trying to keep it short!)
I went down with the 350.org group from Toronto.
We took a bus (well, 5 busloads, all told), & I met lots of neat new people & a bunch of great activist folks I already know from various activist activities over the years.
We slept on a church floor (well, 3 different churches' floors).
Lack of sleep & mega-miles of walking were part of the 2-day experience. Bus down overnight Friday, 6:30 AM arrival in NYC, miles & miles of walking on Saturday, very-interrupted sleep on church floor Saturday night, marching on Sunday, overnight bus ride home back to Toronto; 4:30 AM arrival back here in the Big Smoke.
Little sleep, lots of walking, tons of awesome people, & FUN FUN FUN!!
Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!
I took part in the anti-nuke contingent. “Don’t Nuke the Climate!”
Since nukes are my activist focus these days.
Met people I’d only known before by name – all of them awesome activists & neat people.
The march blew my mind!
A 100 different “threads” of climate/environmental activism.
Activists concerned about
- Countries affected by climate change
- Endangered species
- Faith groups
- Green Party
- Health issues
- Indian Point
- Indigenous issues/rights/concerns
- Marshall Islands
- Nukes (Don't Nuke the Climate!)
- Small islands developing states
- Solar energy
- Sustainable energy
- System change
- Tar sands (HUGE contingent!!)
- Veterans for Peace
- Wind energy
& lots more!!
Wow! It went on & on & on & on & on. I literally could not believe how many people were there, how many different contingents there were, how long it went on.
It blew my mind. I know I’m repeating myself. But it really, really did.
- Variety & diversity to burn!
- Creativity unbounded! Outfits, performances, props, costumes, placards, music. Creativity unleashed, big-time!
- Inspiring beyond belief!!
- Our need for hope: very very poignant
WHAT A PARTY!!!!!
Am I glad I went?
You bet your sweet fanny I am!!!
As close friends/some colleagues/close readers of this blog know, I am not one for hope.
In my own little world, hope left the building some years ago now.
But as a young man once said to me very memorably, even when there is no hope, there is still action.
Action is what I hang my hat on. I don’t hope, I act.
I hang my hat on
Will the March Change Things?
Too soon to know. (Insightful article on this here.)
I personally think we’re pretty much done like a dinner, as it were, as a species. I believe our goose is cooked. (Not a popular view, I know, or perhaps more accurately, not one many of us will admit to.)
But as I say, I still believe in action.
I also believe in people.
I had a blast in NYC.
I always have a blast at marches/rallies/protests (& I've been to a ton of them!)
That’s why I DO this stuff! If it weren’t so darn fun, inspiring & energizing, heck!
I’d stay home & read a book. (So many books, so little time, eh??)
p.s. Btw I also hang my hat on
Oh. & telling the truth. Let's not forget that one!!
p.p.s. I highly recommend the new short (52 minutes) film Disruption. Even those of us who think we’re beyond being inspired, can still be inspired from time to time. Admittedly, this film did that for me! Very glad I watched it.
‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “A study by psychologists at the University of Sussex in Great Britain has found that taking part in campaigns, demonstrations, strikes, and protests is good for you. Interviews with activists revealed that participants experienced a deep sense of happiness and even euphoria in being involved in protest events.” – quoted in Pronoia is the Antidote for Paranoia, by Rob Brezsny **** It's true!!
A few more:
“Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet.” – Alice Walker
“What is laid down, ordered, factual is never enough to embrace the whole truth: life always spills over the rim of every cup.” – Boris Pasternak
“Hoard each joyous moment that comes to you.
No one knows how it will all end.”
“If we don’t fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don’t really stand for them.” – Paul Wellstone
“The Psychotherapeutic Value of Activism: Psychologist James Hillman says that taking action to correct social and economic injustice in the world can serve as powerful psychotherapy. In some cases, it may even be a more effective way to transmute one’s personal pain than talking about the pain with a therapist.” – from Pronoia is the Antidote for Paranoia, by Rob Brezsny
“It’s antithetical to the definition of power in this culture that a person might derive power by service rather than control, but that’s the essence of midwifery.” – Elizabeth Davis, Heart & Hands: A Midwife’s Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, quoted in Brezsny’s Pronoia
“This may be the last gasp of life on Earth, and what a great last gasp, if we realize we have fallen in love with each other. If you are really in the moment of experiencing our reality, you don’t say “Oh I won’t experience this because it’s not going to last forever!” You’ve got this moment. It’s true for now. We can have a reasoned concern about what is down the track, without necessarily getting hooked on something having to endure.” ~ Joanna Macy