Back on the march
A superlative Manhattan day in pictures
I’m sleepy after a long day of marching, and so this report will be mostly pictorial—I just wanted to share with those who couldn’t make it to Manhattan a sense of the March to End Fossil Fuels, which had the climate movement out in force in one place for one of the first times since the pandemic.
I knew it was going to be a good day when I rolled out of bed—the sky was bright blue, the sun was coming up, and the air was dry, almost brisk. It was New York at its most splendid, the kind of day that could fool you into living there. As I walked uptown (past the Mexican Independence Day parade), I could see a trickle of people with signs and banners—which turned into a cascade as I reached Broadway in the 50s. A small stage at 52nd St. boasted luminaries at a kickoff rally—Dr. Cornel West, and then Congressman Jamaal Bowman and the great Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate.
Behind the stage, though, was someone who deserves enormous credit for making the day come out right: Jean Su energy justice director at the Center for Biological Diversity, who helped lead the organizing effort over the last four months. This kind of work is never easy, and she managed to reconcile people with very different views about, say, President Biden; the day’s good mood reflected her kind and committed spirit.
And that good mood never wavered—in fact, the scene was lovely enough that everyone was taking pictures. Here’s Tom Goldtooth, of the Indigenous Environmental Network, who has been an integral part of every important climate protest for many decades, capturing the scene
I saw an endless number of colleagues and friends. Rev Lennox Yearwood and Antonique Smith of the Hip Hop Caucus were on hand, and so—all the way from Ukraine—was Svitlana Romanko, who readers of this newsletter helped so powerfully with their advocacy for Heat Pumps for Peace and Freedom
Of course I was especially thrilled to see a huge turnout from Third Act activists from around the East—Ohio, Pennyslvania, Virginia and DC, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and on and on, along with lots and lots of New Yorkers. They put us towards the back—maybe we walk a bit more slowly—but everyone had a grand time
Third Actors provided some of the best signs
But there were plenty to go around
After a rousing speech from AOC the crowd began slowly to drift away, though no one wanted to leave behind the sweet, smiling energy of the day. No one, of course, thought this day had solved anything; it was more like an announcement of resolve to resume the fight. Which, of course, comes with a time limit. Naomi Klein, taking a day off from her hugely successful tour for her new book Doppelganger, reminded everyone of the stakes, holding the Climate Clock that is counting down toward the deadline that scientists have set for 2030.
There will be much more to come in the year ahead—there better be!
Thanks to all of you for being part of the climate fight, and thanks to those who can afford the modest and voluntary subscription fee—you keep this coming!