Locals to Walk In New York Climate March

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
White River Junction — More than 150 people are expected to board buses in the Upper Valley early Sunday morning en route to New York City, where they will join thousands of others in a march through Manhattan to draw attention to climate change.

Main organizers are estimating 200,000 people will attend the People’s Climate March, which is scheduled two days in advance of the United Nations Climate Summit in New York. But Maeve McBride, who has been helping to coordinate Vermont’s roughly 2,000 participants, said she thinks the estimated number could be “blown out of the water” come Sunday.

The march has resonated with the public, she said, because “it’s a march that is really talking about climate in a much broader way, about climate justice (and) about the injustice of the system we currently have.”

Representatives from all 50 states and more than 1,000 organizations will be in attendance. McBride said Vermont is expected to have the highest participation rate per capita in the march.

“Vermont is a progressive nugget in the United States for sure, and is leading the front not only on the activism side, saying no to the Keystone Pipeline ... but we’re also on the front line on the transition work of local foods” and other local activities, McBride said.

McBride works with 350 Vermont, the state chapter of the global climate activism network 350.org, which was co-founded by Bill McKibben in 2007. She said 1,000 Vermonters will travel to the march on a total of 26 buses departing from various locations, with the rest expected to travel via carpool and public transportation.

Ten of the buses were chartered by Ben & Jerry’s, she said. Most ticket costs were offset by organizers, meaning riders generally paid $15 to $25 for a round-trip seat.

In the Upper Valley, three buses full of reserved seats are scheduled to depart the White River Junction area at 5 a.m. Sunday. Buses were originally set to leave from the Hartland park-and-ride at Exit 9 off Interstate 91, but ongoing construction at the park-and-ride has forced organizers to select a new departure location, which will be announced in coming days. Participants will embark on their return trip around 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Several other organizations have been collaborating on Vermont’s organizing efforts, including the Sierra Club, the Vermont Natural Resources Council, the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Post Oil Solutions, and more.

Representatives from 350 New Hampshire could not be reached on Tuesday. Hanover High School teacher Jeannie Kornfeld said about 20 students will go down on a bus, and Norwich resident Sharon Racusin said a bus is being organized by Hanover Rev. Bob Grabill, as well.

Marchers will assemble on Central Park West between 65th and 86th streets in six large groups: “frontline” communities who are most affected by climate change; “generation” groups, including labor, families, students and elders; groups working toward solutions, such as environmental organizations; anti-corporate campaigners and peace and justice groups; scientists and interfaith groups; and a group called “to change everything, we need everyone,” which includes states, city boroughs, the LBGT community, and more.

The march begins at 11:30 a.m. and will proceed to the corner of Central Park, twisting and turning before arriving at the end location at 11th Avenue in the streets between 34th Street and 38th Street.

Racusin, who McBride described as the “local rock star” of Vermont’s recruiting and organizing efforts in the Upper Valley, said that “massive marches show the people making decisions that they have hit a barrier and their plans will no longer move forward without conflict.

“We want to stop the destruction of the planet and causing harm to so many people who don’t have a voice,” Racusin said. “We want to start growing jobs that are sustainable and giving workers dignity and livable wages. We want justice to prevail, not greed. We won’t turn around.”

Information about carpooling and other transportation to the march is available online at world.350.org/vermont.

Maggie Cassidy can be reached at mcassidy@vnews.com or 603-727-3220.

campaigners and peace and justice groups; scientists and interfaith groups; and a group called “to change everything, we need everyone,” which includes states, city boroughs, the LBGT community, and more.

The march begins at 11:30 a.m. and will proceed to the corner of Central Park, twisting and turning before arriving at the end location at 11th Avenue in the streets between 34th and 38th streets.

Racusin, who McBride described as the “local rock star” of Vermont’s recruiting and organizing efforts in the Upper Valley, said that “massive marches show the people making decisions that they have hit a barrier and their plans will no longer move forward without conflict.

“We want to stop the destruction of the planet and causing harm to so many people who don’t have a voice,” Racusin said. “We want to start growing jobs that are sustainable and giving workers dignity and livable wages. We want justice to prevail, not greed. We won’t turn around.”

Information about carpooling and other transportation to the march is available online at world.350.org/vermont.

Maggie Cassidy can be reached at mcassidy@vnews.com or 603-727-3220.




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