THE PEOPLE’S CLIMATE MARCH AND URBAN RESISTANCE


Photo Credit: Diane Greene Lent, Climate March in Washington, D.C.

Some 200,000 people marched in Washington, DC on April 29 to resist the Trump attacks on the EPA, stop the pipelines and dump fossil fuels. While the biggest environmental groups were there, and many people traveled long distances to join in, this march was especially important because it was organized and led by frontline communities – communities of color and Native Americans, who live in cities and towns burdened with environmental hazards and who stand to experience the worst impacts of climate change. There were also marches in hundreds of cities around the world.

The demonstration was joined by portions of organized labor. I was on one of two buses that brought faculty and staff from the City University of New York. Noticeably absent were the big construction unions that continue to be lured by promises of giant infrastructure jobs.

The lessons for progressive planners, I believe, are plain and simple. Technological fixes, isolated design innovations, resiliency plans and all the other things we like to promote can end up reinforcing the inertia, which is not unique to Trump, that is letting the wealthy of the world build their Noah’s Arks against the rising tides and leaving others alone in “sacrifice zones.”

~Tom Angotti, member of the Progressive City Editorial Board

Photo Credit: Marie Kennedy, Climate March in Los Angeles, CHIRLA stands for: Coalition for Humane Immigration Reform Los Angeles

Photo Credit: Marie Kennedy, Climate March in Los Angeles, CHIRLA stands for: Coalition for Humane Immigration Reform Los Angeles

Photo Credit: Marie Kennedy, Climate March in Los Angeles, CHIRLA stands for: Coalition for Humane Immigration Reform Los Angeles

The Portland March was smaller than I had imagined it would be given the degree of environmental activism for which Portland is widely known. Several organizations representing people of color were present, and were featured as speakers during the pre-march rally. It was also great to see a good group of young people represented, as some of the photos show. Some marchers targeted signs toward the message of the "Power Past Coal" campaign, which is working to stop a proposal that would allow a hundred million tons of coal a year to be transported to Asia via Northwest ports. My favorite is the sign referring to the great sax player, John Coltrane, pictured below.

~Allison Dean, member of the Progressive City Editorial Board

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