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North Country Prepares for Upcoming Climate Marches in DC and Potsdam

PHOTO COURTESY OF DEVON GULBRANDSE
Written by Hogan Dwyer

By HOGAN DWYER
GUEST WRITER

On April 29, 2017, hundreds of thousands will gather in the streets of Washington D.C. to protest the federal government’s failure to sufficiently address the environmental catastrophe of climate change. The event, sponsored by essentially all major environmental NGOs as well as groups like NAACP and the American Federation of Teachers, has been dubbed the “People’s Climate Movement” (PCM for short). The name reflects PCM’s connection to the September 2014 People’s Climate March in New York City, the largest climate change march in history. and emphasizes the Movement’s continuation beyond the April 29 march.

As with most events of this scale, PCM will feature issues both directly or indirectly related to the main topic of climate change. The official PCM platform intends to “bring the range of progressive social change movements together,” highlighting campaigns for indigenous rights—spotlighted in the recent Dakota Access Pipeline protest—and other social justice issues. Per the event’s official website, they are “Pushing back against the Trump agenda and at the same time pushing forward on our vision of a clean, safe world where the rights of all people are protected and expanded means we all must work together.”

With a little more than a week until the big day, planning the logistics of PCM is in full gear. Details for participating in the event, including everything from how to get there to what to wear, are posted on the website (peoplesclimate.org) and being shared via social media, emails, and even phone calls. The event in D.C. will begin with a gathering in front of the Capitol Building on April 29 at 11 a.m. Around noon, the crowd will proceed to march to the White House, surrounding the building on all sides in a definitive statement to the current administration that we as a nation care about rising global temperatures and its repercussions. Afterwards, people will reconvene at the National Mall for speakers from front-line communities and major environmental organizations, music performances, and large-scale visual art displays.

For those who can’t make it to the main event at the nation’s capital, there are hundreds of sister marches set to take place around the world. In the North Country, sister marches will take place in Plattsburgh and Potsdam. Many faculty and students have already made plans to attend the Potsdam event, which will take place in Ives Park starting at 1 p.m. Among other local activists, St. Lawrence environmental studies professor and resident climate change expert Jon Rosales is scheduled to speak. The theme of the event is “Protect What We Love,” whether that be skiing, farming, or anything else potentially impacted by climate change (which is just about everything). Costumes and artwork are highly encouraged. DivestSLU and EAO collaborated on a giant SLU banner for the march and will also be tabling at the event.

There will be SLU vans running to and from the Potsdam march to ensure that all students interested can participate. For more information about the event, contact Director of Outdoor Studies Cathy Shrady, or come to a DivestSLU meeting on Mondays at 8:30pm in Student Center room 336.

Any students interested in attending the primary march in D.C. should contact Hogan Dwyer (hdwye15@stlawu.edu) as soon as possible.

 

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Hogan Dwyer