Several East End-based organizations have joined forces and plan to march for change on Saturday, April 29. Starting at 12 p.m., all are invited to meet at the Long Wharf in Sag Harbor and travel through the commercial section of Main Street and back to the Windmill during a Hamptons Climate Change March, a sister march of the Peoples Climate Movement in Washington, D.C.
“Of the issues that the current administration has chosen to denigrate, one of the most important for our area is Climate Change. We on the East End have all seen first-hand the impact of rising sea levels, and not just in the case of Superstorm Sandy,” shared April Gornik, one of the Sag Harbor Climate Change March organizers. “In my time here, the incidence of powerful nor’easters has greatly increased, and we are, after all, an island! This is an issue that affects everyone and we must make all politicians, local and national, aware of our concern.”
“We march for the Earth and all upon it. Environmental Justice = Racial Justice = Justice for Women = Economic Justice. All issues are linked together,” added Kathryn Szoka of PEER/NYPAN: Progressive East End Reformers, who has been instrumental in organizing the event. “Let’s all join together with our neighbors, in demanding bold and urgent action on the global climate crisis! We are all in this together.”
Shortly after Women’s Marches were held all across the world in January, activists announced that a Peoples Climate March would take place on Saturday, April 29 in Washington, D.C., with sister marches taking place across the country.
According to the march’s website, the event was established in response to “widespread outrage against President Trump’s disastrous anti-climate agenda – including his executive orders yesterday advancing the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines – as well as his attacks on healthcare, immigrants, and programs and policies that improve the lives of all Americans” and will kick-off “100 days of action to fight Trump’s proposals to reverse climate action, dismantle our government and hand power over to the one percent.”
“Despite the Trump Administration’s insistence to bury its head in the sand and deny the overwhelming scientific evidence, climate change is real and is impacting people’s lives,” noted Margrete Strand Rangnes, Executive Vice President, Public Citizen. “Moving away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and renewable energy will not only lower energy prices for consumers, but also save lives and improve the health of people and communities.”
The inaugural Peoples Climate March was held back in 2014, and brought over 400,000 people in New York City, as well as many more worldwide.
“Climate change is contributing to an increase in extreme weather disasters,” noted Dr. Rachel Cleetus, Climate Policy Manager, Union of Concerned Scientists. “We’re seeing more rains that come as deluges, stronger North Atlantic hurricanes, worsening droughts and heat waves, and a longer, more severe Western wildfire season. When disaster strikes, we see the same old pattern: low-income and minority communities are hit harder than others and have a much harder time recovering.”
Following the 2014 Peoples Climate Movement, a groundbreaking coalition of green and environmental justice groups, labor unions, faith, students, indigenous peoples and civil rights groups was formed. Along with working on advancing a climate agenda rooted in economic and racial justice, they are responsible for the upcoming march.
Perfect Earth Project, PEER, Citizens Climate Lobby, Racial Justice East End, Shinnecock Nation, and UUCSF are among local organizations that have rallied together to make sure that their collective voices will be heard. Following the march, representatives from some of the environmental groups will be making short statements.
“Climate change affects everyone — from rising sea levels to extreme weather events to air and water pollution around the world,” noted Jess Tonn, Director of Communications, Perfect Earth Project. “Our waterfront community will be on the front lines of this crisis, with our children facing the burden of cleaning up our mess. Join us on Saturday to send a message that now is the time to come together to find solutions that protect our planet and everyone on it.”
For more information about the Climate Change March, visit ww.facebook.com.