On September 20th, hundreds of thousands of young people across the globe are took to the streets to take a stand, many of whom were inspired by the actions and words of Swedish student Greta Thunberg. They include and will join Indigenous peoples, as well as Black and Brown communities on the frontlines, who have been leading the climate movement and building a regenerative future in the midst of the climate emergency. We are inspired by First Nations, who are waging some of the most powerful fights of our time against fossil fuel infrastructure.
People around the world are experiencing superstorms, floods, droughts, and wildfires at unprecedented rates, with low-income communities and communities of color hit first and worst. Cruelly, communities and regions being devastated already by the effects of climate change tend to be the least responsible for its onset. It is not a coincidence that climate impacts strike along the lines of race and class so starkly; climate change is a product of the same processes which cement racism and wealth inequality in our country and our world.
The transition off of fossil fuels is inevitable; justice is not. To achieve Climate Justice, we must not only decarbonize the atmosphere, but also decolonize and democratize our economies and our communities. Shutting down the nation’s capital could be our best shot at starting this justice-based transition; we need a broad-based coalition that emphasizes the overlap of our struggles. We look to the recent passage of the Climate & Communities Protection Act by New York Renews, a coalition led by Black, Brown, and labor organizations, for inspiration.
This is the mass uprising that everyone with climate anxiety has been waiting for. This is an uprising for life itself, fighting back against the forces of destruction. Now is the time to take action to save the people, plants, and animals we love. Let’s rise up for climate justice!