Hoping Climate Acton March has impact



What difference will the climate march make? We didn’t know the outcome of MLK’s civil rights march when it concluded. When African Americans were given the right to vote, we knew the March had an effect.

We left Los Angeles on March 1, and arrived in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 1. The mission of the Great March for Climate Action is to change the hearts and minds of the American people, our elected leaders, and people around the globe, to inspire action on the climate crisis.

On the Great March for Climate Action we have had guests representing local action groups making presentations at our evening meal. We met and were hosted by many along the way. Sometimes they provided a potluck dinner, sometimes they offered overnighthome stays. It was amazing there was so much support at the grass roots level.

Native Americans in New Mexico said individual action won’t make a difference, what we need is a movement. In addition to that, it seems things won’t change until we can sit at the table and have a personal conversation with the industry who we hope to impact — a one-on-one with the fossil fuel industry. When in Pittsburg, we learned it’s the first and only city to ban fracking.

Many have asked me, “What was the march like?” My answer ...

It was envisioned to have 1,000 people. There were consistently 20 to 30 core marchers. We marched into Washington, D.C., with 50.

Local people joined for a day, a week, or a month.

We traveled from 15 to 25 miles a day, camping at night.

I usually rode my bicycle.

All the tasks of getting the march up and running and keeping it running had to be identified, created, and assigned. Assignments usually rotated twice each week.

There was no administration until we elected a mayor, three administrators and a judicial council.

When we had meetings, they were held in the circle of 20 to 30 people.

There were no chalk boards or printouts, so there was nothing objective to refer back to.

Sometimes there was no agreement. It was difficult to identify the consensus.

Some chose to be silent to symbolize those in the world who have no voice.

Occasionally we sang. I suggested our theme song should be “The Impossible Dream.” The marchers didn’t respond.

We left the route in Ohio as the Longest Climate March joining the Largest Climate March in New York City and returned to Ohio to complete the march to Washington, D.C.

David Zahrt, Carson City resident, participated in the Great March for Climate Action from Los Angeles, Calif., to Washington, D.C., to raise awareness about climate change.


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