A strong, renewed wave of social justice and environmental activism crested upon DC this past week for the People’s Climate March, and the Baltimore People’s Climate Movement. The local manifestation, which has coalesced for several months and met to discuss City concerns, is made up by various social and environmental justice organizations, artists, and members of various communities of faith. The coalition meets to discuss and address issues like transit equity, community control of land, housing, worker’s rights, clean energy, and environmental injustice.
And Maryland Working Families (based in Baltimore) was out full-force! Because we are committed to environmental justice: the recognition that minority and low-income communities often bear a disproportionate share of environmental costs. Environmental justice is no longer just about saving the rain forest or polar bears — it’s about the fact that air pollution causes lung disease and strokes, and severe asthma in children is the leading cause of school absences in Baltimore City.
Maryland Working Families is proud to have helped organize the Baltimore People’s Climate Movement — contributing our organizing and coalition-building expertise. It was a very empowering feeling to be part of a 600-strong group of Baltimoreans who know that human health and social justice depend on a healthy environment. Coalition members marched with signs, banners and puppets, depicting rowhomes, “seeds of promise”, and the Baltimore incinerator. The artwork was created by local artists and community members at Black Cherry Puppet Theater in Hollins Market.
The People’s Climate March, which estimates say was attended by over 200,000 people, was the largest manifestation in the country, with 375 sister marches which also took place in cities across the country. The march was led by native nations fighting against the continuing development of fossil fuels. Nations from all over the US, including those at the North Dakota site protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone Pipeline were joined by nations as far as the Amazon. The march began at the Washington mall, marched up Pennsylvania Avenue and circled the White House. It also coincided with Trump’s 100th day in office.