You’ve probably been directed to this page by somebody helping plan the September 21 Peoples Climate March. First, some context:
On September 23, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is hosting a Climate Leadership Summit for heads of state from around the world to make pledges of how their countries will take action to address the climate crisis. This summit could be the only time in the next few years when many of the world’s leaders will get together to discuss climate change.
This is our chance to greet world leaders with the largest mobilization on climate in history. Let’s turn out hundreds of thousands of people in the streets of New York City — and around the world — to demand climate justice and a new economy that puts jobs, people and planetary health first. This is the moment to bring our different movements together, articulate our common challenges and solutions, and go big.
What will the mobilization look like?
The mobilization will consist of numerous events, actions, symposia, presentations, and more organized over the course of the days leading up to the Summit, and in the days following.
The anchor event of the week will be a massive march – one so large and diverse that it cannot be ignored. Discussions are underway with the City regarding permits, routes, and locations, but we are aiming for 2-3 miles, in Manhattan, on Sunday 9/21, starting in the early afternoon. Without a doubt, it will be the largest single event on climate that has been organized to date.
This will be a family-friendly event. The tone and tenor will be dignified, fun, impactful and empowering, and we are committed to making sure that it is permitted, peaceful and safe for all who come.
Who is already involved?
Currently, there are a number of “tables” and working groups where organizations and individuals are coming together to engage with the summit. Since this is a “movement of movements” moment, there isn’t one singular place where conversations are happening, messaging being determined, or demands being developed. Here are a few of the key discussions that are happening:
NYC area groups are being co-convened by NYC-Environmental Justice Alliance and ALIGN on a weekly basis, and are focused on mobilizing and organizing people in the NY metro area on a climate and economic justice agenda in the lead-up to the mobilization. This group serves as the “host committee” for the mobilization. To join this table, please email Natasha Dwyer email@example.com.
Sean Sweeney and Lara Skinner of Cornell Global Labor Institute, among others, are working with Organized Labor to engage union officers, staff, activists, and rank-and-file members in the mobilization. To plug into these discussions, please email Lara Skinner firstname.lastname@example.org.
Numerous national and international climate change focused, environmental and development groups are being convened by GCCA and USCAN for regular coordination and discussion. Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved with this table.
Grassroots environmental justice, frontline and allied organizations from outside the NY/NJ metro area have been holding discussions under the aegis of Climate Justice Alliance (CJA). Be in touch with Michael Leon Guerrero email@example.com to get involved with that conversation.
If your group doesn’t fit at one of these tables, that’s OK! Fill out the survey in the next section to get looped in, or get together with other individuals and organizations who you feel most aligned with to discuss how you want to be involved with the mobilization. Please let us know who you’re convening and what your focus will be so we can help others to join your table and contribute.
A small Mobilization Support Team comprised of veteran mass mobilization organizers, will be coordinating the basic logistics of the march, from securing permits and negotiating the march route to stage managing and event production for any rallies, speakers or music along the route.
How can my organization get involved?
The first step is to fill out this survey.
It will only take a few minutes, and will help the Mobilization Support Team and conveners understand better who you are, who you represent, and how you want to be involved. The biggest need by far is outreach — if the mobilization is to be historically huge, we’re going to need everybody to pitch in, from phonebanking your members to sending mobilizing emails, from chartering buses to doing face-to-face outreach. We also want to know what your organization is uniquely good at: Do you have access to celebrities? Can you help fundraise to cover the costs of logistics? Do you run a leadership program that could be integrated into the mobilization in some way?
As the mobilization gets closer, the organizations involved (that includes you!) will create contact groups to share information on outreach, online and offline communications for all the groups engaged in the mobilization. Stay tuned.
Why is the march being organized in this way?
Ah, the beauty of organizing a mass mobilization! Yes, it might seem disorganized, without a central hub or single point person in charge of each piece. There are some good reasons we’re starting out this way.
In recent years, a new model of organizing has emerged that celebrates the diversity of leadership, flattens out and distributes power structures, and focuses on results. It’s proven highly effective at mobilizing large numbers of diverse people on short timelines, especially when a simple common goal is articulated. Using this networked model, we’re encouraging key sectors of the movement to convene themseleves, build their own messages that resonate with their bases, and recruit their own people, while all committing to come together in the streets to march on one day.
As the mobilization gets nearer, we’ll work with key individuals and organizations at all the emerging tables to build more central resources and infrastructure to support recruitment, logistics, online and offline communications for all the groups engaged in the mobilization to tap into if they want. Stay tuned.
This document will continue to evolve as the mobilization logistics and details get nailed down, so check back here for more information in the coming weeks. We will also send out updates via email to participating organizations and individuals. In the meantime, please be in touch with one of the people listed above for more information about how you and your organization can plug in.