The People’s Climate Mobilization organized a huge People’s Climate March on September 21, 2014, to coincide with a UN Climate Summit two days later, followed by an anti-capitalist ‘’’Flood Wall Street” sit-in at Wall Street to protest the corporate link to climate change. A banner stated “Socialism is the cure.” The march was said to be the largest climate demonstration in history, with over 300,000 marchers in New York City (organizers claim 400,000) including the UN’s Ban Ki-moon, the mayor, Al Gore, some film stars, and members of Pussy Riot. Over 2,800 actions took place in over 166 countries: Avaaz reported that over 675,000 people marched around the world, as shown in their photos.[i] Videos and photographs publicize the issue and reported on the events, barely covered by US TV stations.[ii] s(More than 500 buses transported demonstrators to New York, marching bands played, and 26 blocks were cordoned off, followed by a huge block party and discussion. The Free University provided direct action training and many organizations were involved including 350.org, Avaaz (delivered a petition with 2.1 million signatures), MoveOn.org, the Sierra Club, Energy Action Coalition and many university student groups.
A large youth convergence met to focus on divestment at their universities, led by the Fossil Fuel Student Divestment group, and encourage youth to vote and lobby against the XL pipeline. Signs read “Youth Chose Climate Justice,” “Sustainability Student,” signs with their university name, “This Country has a Koch Problem,” “Ban Fracking, Ban Carbon,” ”Cook Organic, Not the Planet,” The Seas are Rising and So are the People,” and “A Good Planet is Hard to Find.”
On September 22 demonstrators wore blue to convey the flood theme and speakers included Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (2014), the new handbook of the climate movement. She said acting on climate change is “our best chance to demand and build a better world,” saying no to powerful corporations. She pointed to the German example of encouraging decentralized local energy generators. Another speaker was singer and environmentalist Ta’Kaiya Blaney, age 13. She represents the Sliammon First Nation in British Columia. For four years she has spoken at UN global climate conferences and advocates that “Actions speaks louder than words.”[iii] Vermont’s was the first governor to announce his state would divest from fossil fuel companies and New York City major announced his plan to reduce emissions 80% by 2050. See photos from around the world in the first footnote.