People’s Climate March, September 21, 2014

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Over the weekend we visited our dear friends in NYC. They and more friends joined us at 81 Street and Fifth Avenue West at the Climate March on Sunday. We walked out of the subway station to find what turned out to be 400,000 people! That is over four times what the organizers had expected.

This meant that everything happened a little behind schedule. We stood, waiting, for two hours before our section (the second last one) of the march started moving. (So first we stood for Climate Change Action, and then we marched for it.) Our three girls, ages 9 and 10, bravely stuck with it in the often jostling crowd and the Indian Summer hot, humid weather that at one point threatened with a couple of rain drops.

I think they were impressed and I hope they will remember this experience for their lives: the day they too stood up and marched for action on climate change, with people from all over the world, all ages, all colors. Lots of youth, lots of little kids.

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The moment of silence – 400,000 people, all quiet together – was very touching, and then when the cheering rolled down the Avenue, that gave me the chills.

People's Climate March, 21 September (2) 2014, Kaat Vander Straeten
People’s Climate March, 21 September (2) 2014, Kaat Vander Straeten

As we stood, danced and sat waiting, I listened to the conversations around me. Many were well-informed, others not at all, and there was a lot of talking. What fracking is all about. What is divestment. There was a man who told the story of the lobster boat like we were sitting around a campfire, hearing stories of heroism.

We felt safe throughout and there was fun for the kids too. Mostly we danced, as we attached ourselves to Berkshire 350MA Node drummers, who were just fantastic.

I kept looking for people I knew and had planned to hook up with, but in that crowd? No dice. We couldn’t even hear our cell phones ring.

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I took lots more pictures, which you can see here.

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