You are here

“The real climate leaders are in the streets!” Voices from the People’s Climate March

September 23, 2014

Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate
“The problem is not carbon, it's capitalism…the real climate leaders are not in the UN, they’re in the streets…we will not win unless we confront this brutal logic of market fundamentalism. Unless we radically reshape the priorities of the economy we have. There are no non-radical options left on the table.”
Olga Bautista, candidate for Chicago city council
“My ward in South Chicago has 50 percent higher cancer rates and the highest rates of child asthma in the city. BP, the Koch brother s and other companies pollute our lakes, rivers, our air, our communities and its time they pay up or get out. There’s something about living a life with dignity and standing up to a system in which a small minority that profits from the exploitation of so many. I want to be a part of a movement that stands up and shows that another world is possible.”
Jacqui Patterson, Environmental program director for the NAACP
“We need to put an end to the economic system that says that there are winners and losers; that commodifies people and the environment. We know what an alternative can look like; we need a universally implemented living wage, an end to the the proliferation of militarism. We need to deconstruct the prison industrial complex. We need to stop the exploitation of natural resources that are the basis of human life. We need to move to zero waste, we need a transportation system that is accessible to all. We need sovereignty for indigenous people. We need green energy. And we know how we can get there. We need a commitment to bottom-up organizing, self transformation and democracy.”
Stanley Sturgill, retired underground coal miner from Kentucky
“I’m a 61 year old Kentucky coal miner. I've got black lung because of my work. I’m marching today because I want to build a bright future for my family, my Appalachians and the world. I have a vision where me and my fellow Appalachians can make a living without harming ourselves, our communities and our environment. We are our own best hope for an alternative.”
Mari Rose Taruc, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (Oakland)
 “We’re tired of Chevron blowing smoke in our communities. We were tired of waiting for our leaders, so we installed solar panels on our buildings like the Asian Pacific Community Centre. Think of all that we've done on our own, now it’s the world leaders turn to act. But we know that solutions won't come from world leaders but by the grassroots action of our communities and movements.”
Bill Aristovolus, superintendent in an energy efficient building, who stayed in the building for two weeks ferrying supplies to residents during Hurricane Sandy and member of SEIU
“I’m marching for my kids to have a sustainable green future and because I know that working people can play a role in creating that future. I’m marching to let our leaders know that working people like myself can be a part of the solution.”
Elizabeth Yeampierre, the executive director of Uprose, who helped lead a community response to Hurricane Sandy
“We're here because we’ve had two tornadoes in Brooklyn. We’ve been swamped by Hurricane Sandy, the waste and debris washes up in our communities. We are creating climate justice every day, we won't accept false solutions and we demand action.” 
Noelene Nabulivou of Fiji, Diverse Voices and Action for Equality
 “Women of the Global South are tired of hearing politicians and other development partners give one excuse or another for why the strongest and useful climate mitigation target of 1.5 degrees is not possible, why adaptation measures do not concentrate on gender equality, human rights and social justice, why there have not been fundamental changes to our global economic and development systems, why climate finance is not easily accessible, and a loss and damage mechanism is not yet ready. The truth is that we are suffering now, our communiteis are already dealing with all kinds of economic, social and ecological damage because of the actions of the few, and the impacts on the world majority, indigenous peoples, and people from small island states, among others, are many and immediate. We need urgent national, regional and lgobal action, and this march is to let everyone know, that the time is now!”
Kimberly Sheppherd, fifth generation Appalachian mother
“I’m here because we want a just transition for our people. We want clean air, clean water. We want sustainable jobs.”
Wldaian Kalsakau, from the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu
“Everyone needs to take leadership, everyone needs to take ownership. Everyone needs to come forth and be bold and ambitious about their carbon emissions. When are we going to have action? It seems like the more climate science. Tomorrow Vanuatu will be calling for action by the developed countries. They are not doing enough. We need political will. We’ve begun to relocate some of our people who are living in the coastal areas and that creates a lot of social problems. Climate change is exposing a lot of physical and social impacts in our country. In some of the low-lying Pacific islands it is an existential threat, by 2050 they could be obliterated from the map. The world cannot be venturing into a business-as-usual model.” -
Linda, National Domestic Workers Alliance
“We’re all Philipino domestic workers. We are migrant workers. We are fighting for comprehensive immigration reform so that 2 million undocumented workers here can have immigration status. Climate change has really affected our country. The Philipines is a tropical country that has storms every year, but not of the magnitude of the recent superstorms like Haiyan and Yolanda. Just this year there is another typhoon. Areas that historically were not affected by typhoons are now being hit by them. Super typhoons destroy our farming villages and crops. The people who depend on those crops lose their livelihood and they send their children, their mothers out of the country to earn money and send it back home. That is who we are and that is why we are here. We don’t want to be migrant workers, we don’t want to leave our children back home, we don’t want to leave our country. We are here because the jobs are here, not because we don’t love our country. We are here because we are here because of the economy. We know that the United States and other capitalist countries are causing extreme weather changes around the world. So we are here to call for accountability. Accountability for this country and other capitalist countries!”

Geo Tags: 

Featured Event


Visit our YouTube Channel for more videos: Our Youtube Channel
Visit our UStream Channel for live videos: Our Ustream Channel