NEW YORK – People from this city joined hundreds of thousands around the world who are showing solidarity with the demonstrators in Paris where the government has cancelled mass climate demonstrations in the wake of recent terrorist attacks.
Hundreds of New Yorkers from all five boroughs gathered near and around City Hall Park to echo the same message, a demand that the world’s governments agree to curb sharply the use of fossil fuels that are heating the planet.
Many grassroots organizations joined the rally but the chorus of chants was of one voice: “Keep fossil fuel in the ground – renewable energy now!”
Among the original and thoughtful signs were ones that read, “We have the solutions,” “Invest New York City pension funds in clean energy,” and a banner that read, “#EARTH TO PARIS!”
Aurash Khawarzad with weact.org (an environmental grassroots organization located in northern Manhattan), said, “Climate change from our perspective impacts the poor and working class and they have the a road map to solutions.
Those at the conference (in Paris) who will be making the decisions created the crises and inequality, they won’t fix it.”
The energy was high as people marched around City Hall. One participant expressed the hope that the world leaders who hold the future of our children and grandchildren in their hands will listen to the people they represent and make the changes to the system that will slow climate change and if possible, eventually restore and reverse much of the damage done, leaving a sustainable planet to the peoples that inhabit it.
Some of the organizations that participated were: Brooklyn for Peace; AVAAZ; People’s Climate Movement NYC; NY District of the CPUSA; Brooklyn 350 and volunteers for Labor for Bernie. The latter were handing out fliers for Bernie Sanders with the message, “Socialism is good for the climate.”
This demonstration was in part to make sure that New York’s Mayor de Blasio remembers his commitment to make the changes in how the city deals with its pension funds, its general use of energy, its garbage, to whatever extent his influence will allow. New York City produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 97 countries.
Leslie Cagan, long time political and social activist who helped organize the huge Climate March in September, 2014 called on the mayor to move the city to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 by taking these steps:
Require all large buildings to be energy efficient.
Divest city funds from all fossil fuels.
Expand and improve our public mass transit system.
Convert city-owned buildings to solar and other renewable energy sources.
“Let’s make sure our demonstration here in NYC is as strong and powerful as we can possibly make it,” she said.
“#EARTH TO PARIS!” “#BHEARD!”