UNH Students Stand Up in NYC Climate March
More than 400,000 people marched in New York City recently. The day before UN world leaders gathered to discuss the pressing issue of climate change and what to do about it. On this historic day, the largest climate rally in the world to date, 40 UNH students went down to the Big Apple to participate. The journey started with hearing about the March, and working hard to get funding from Greenpeace to rent a bus and get lodging for the weekend, which was successful! Their only request was we bring at least 50 people, and we march with them and their campaign called Act for Arctic. Well we rallied the troops and got nearly 50, and headed down to Brooklyn on Saturday to hang out with Greenpeace and other like-minded activists, and watch an amazing documentary about the Arctic 30 (we’re working on getting a showing here, so fear not).
UNH and the Act for Arctic
After a fun night of hanging out with other students at the hostiles, it was time to head into Manhattan and line up for what turned out to be an unforgettable day. Greenpeace told us to arrive around 10 and look for the big iceberg float. You couldn’t miss it, all icy looking and beautiful. Once we arrived, greeted incredibly warmly by the march coordinators who handed out big signs with names of cities, areas, and whole countries that would be affected by rising sea levels, some of us decided to do some exploring before the march officially began. The people who gathered for this event were from across the spectrum. There were neo-hippies, grandmothers wanting a better world for their grand children and great-grandchildren, your farmers, business people, your faith communities, celebrities, college students, you name it. All gathered for one reason, to spread awareness and ask for climate justice. When eleven o’clock came around, the official start to the march, we were towards the back and had no idea how many people were in front of us. Turns out, a lot more than we thought: at 12:58, we still hadn’t started moving. There was a March-wide moment of silence for the people who had lost their homes, livelihoods and lives to climate change. After that moment, the rolling thunder of cheers that waved down the line was tangible. Even after waiting around for 3+ hours, no one around us had lost their spirit or their enthusiasm. Finally, around 2:30 we began our slow march towards Time Square, or at least in that direction. It was amazing. So many chants (Hey! Obama, we don’t want no arctic drama!) and songs and music and people peacefully demonstrating what they believe in.
UNH Students Will Be Heard
Around 4:30 or so, most of us UNHers had finished the march on 42nd and 6th West, though we were completely spread out. We decided to just meet back at the bus, and after about an hour and a half, we hit the long road back up to New Hampshire. Though we were all exhausted from a lack of sleep and from walking many, many blocks, the energy was so high, everyone was refueled with desire to make change in the world, and had a newfound ardor that we could make that change happen. At the end of the day, we could have had 1,000,000 people marching for climate justice, but it’s up to the world leaders to start listening to the people and making policy changes before anything will be made right. Carbon emissions need to be cut, the Arctic needs to be made a protected sanctuary where no oil or gas exploration can take place, and people need to start resources sharing better. That was the message from the march, we; the united people, are unstoppable and we will be heard.
If you want more information on the march, the people who participated, or just want to see pictures check out peoplesclimate.org or the People’s Climate March on Facebook.