Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Marching for the climate worldwide and in Michigan

After taking yesterday off to drink to a late drum corps Earth Day, I'm ready to tackle the People's Climate March.  I'll begin with PBS NewsHour's Climate marchers urge Trump to protect environment.

As President Donald Trump reached the 100th day of his presidency, tens of thousands of people gathered in Washington, D.C., for the People’s Climate March, with similar demonstrations around the country. Protesters called for environmental protections even as Trump has proposed cutting funding for science programs and signed an executive order to expand offshore drilling for oil in the Arctic.
PBS mentioned that there were marches in cities across the country.  They were too small in their scope.  There were marches around the world, including in Canada, where CBC's The National included footage from Canadian demonstrations in Climate change protests against Trump's policies.

Marches held in cities around the world Saturday to urge governments to act on climate change.
Welcome to two of the lessons I teach my students, "everything is connected to everything else" and "there is no away."  What the U.S. does affects Canada and vice versa.

Follow over the jump for my story about my joining a sister march in Michigan.

Among the cities participating was Ferndale, where I estimated that 400 people participated, although the crowd never got much larger than 300 at any one time; people dropped out as others joined in.  I didn't march, although more than half the 300+ did, parading along the sidewalks of Woodward south of 9 Mile.  I stood on the southeast corner of the intersection of those two streets holding a banner that read "People over Profits," which is almost identical to a Coffee Party slogan, "People Over Profit."  I didn't make that one.  Instead, I looked for someone who had a sign to share.  I found a woman holding that banner, which was really too big for her, and offered to hold one side so she could hold just one.  She accepted.  I held that banner for more than an hour.

While I stood there, the other demonstrators and I got a lot of positive feedback from people honking and giving thumbs up in support.  The only negative comment was from someone who told us "you should be more concerned about Islam."  Dude, join a Loyalty Day protest if you want to make that statement.  That's not our issue; terrorism and war, yes, Islamophobia, no.  In fact, my response is to tell him to leave my Muslim neighbors alone!

There was one other incident that happened while I standing there.  A woman who wanted to join the protest rear-ended the car in front of her while she was asking where to find parking.  Fortunately, both drivers and their cars suffered no damage or injury.  Everyone hugged and made up and I was able to tell her where to find parking.

I was able to see one of my former students before the protest and another friend during the protest, so not only did I do my part to spread the word, I connected with people I knew.  I count that as a good day.

The news media did not cover the event, but the Detroit Free Press reported on Detroiters joining the main march in D.C., MLive quoted Michigan activists going to D.C. and previewed the Detroit Climate March, and WWMT covered the Climate March in Kalamazoo.  It wasn't the Science March in Ann Arbor, but at least the sister marches got some attention.

Speaking of attention, the Sierra Club counted 200k+ Strong at the Peoples Climate March 2017.

More than 200,000 people marched in DC at the Peoples Climate March on April 29, 2017 and tens of thousands more marched at sister marches across the country. To change everything, we need everyone -- and this was a powerful display of a climate movement that is growing ever-bigger, stronger, and more diverse. What's next? We march on to strengthen the climate resistance in our communities!
As Kevin Robbins, who participated in his local Climate March, wrote at his blog, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Resist!"

That takes care of the "something serious" I promised for today.  Stay tuned for Star Wars Day!

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