WASHINGTON – Even hard rain could not stop a diverse group of activists and organizations who took to the streets of DC on Earth Day to demand that decision-makers end the era of fossil fuels now for the future of people and the planet. It was the largest gathering of climate activists in D.C. in over a decade.
“We need to end the era of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels have been fueling injustices and destruction for decades!”
After music from the Too Much Talent Band, a dozen speakers, representing nearly 40 different organizations, took the stage in a rally at Freedom Plaza in downtown DC. The crowd heard powerful words from speakers representing communities disproportionately affected by climate devastation, such as NeeNee Taylor, Executive Director and Co-Conductor of Harriet’s Wildest Dreams. “We witness and experience the impact of climate change and environmental racism on Black and Brown lives every day in D.C.,” said Taylor. “We know that climate injustice and environmental racism are formed by the same systems of white supremacy.” Taylor called out wealthy white-owned corporations whose hazardous waste sites are disproportionately located in or near communities of color. More than half the people living near toxic waste sites are BIPOC.
While the speakers’ and attendees’ specific areas of focus varied, they shared the underlying sentiment that there is no time for incremental action. The crisis is already here. While policymakers may be far detached from climate change devastation, billions of people worldwide – and many in the U.S. – are already suffering from climate emergencies, with marginalized communities hit the hardest.
After the rally, the crowd marched to the White House to ensure that the Biden administration heard their demands and understood that administration approval of new fossil fuel infrastructure was unacceptable. The climate disasters we are seeing in the news every day are “just a preview of the world we will inherit if Joe Biden doesn’t do something about it and make an immediate plan to end our reliance on fossil fuels,” said Betamia Coronel, Senior Climate Organizer for the Center for Popular Democracy.
Marchers chanted “We are unstoppable, another world is possible!” and “The seas are rising and so are we!” when the rain started coming down.
For more information on the coalition and the demand to end the fossil fuel era, please visit https://www.earthdaydc.org
You can find pictures and video clips from the day here: https://oxfam.box.com/v/earthdaydc2023