Despite the amount of rainfall and flooded roads, many still came to The Gaia House in Carbondale to attend the People’s Climate March held on April 29.
Although the turnout was impressive, Treesong, one of the march’s organizers, said there may have been twice as many attendees if it were not for the damage left by Mother Nature the night before and the impending weather set for the afternoon.
The idea for the march began when Treesong heard about a similar march held in Washington, D.C.
“As soon as I heard about the climate march in Washington, D.C., I knew we had to have one here in Southern Illinois,” he said. “Because there is a lot of energy for that here, but we need to mobilize in order to turn that energy in to action.”
The main idea of the march, Treesong said, is that climate change affects everyone and that we need to do more to protect the Earth.
“We’re out here to emphasize the fact that this (climate change) is an ethical issue, a moral issue,” he said. “Climate change is a justice issue. The people who are the most responsible for it are often the least to suffer the consequences.”
While climate change affects everyone, it is usually the lower class, or developing nations that suffer the most, Treesong said. He continued by saying it is the future generations who must live with the consequences of the damage done to the climate.
As people marched down the sidewalks, drivers would honk or cheer as a sign of support. Some of the people marching were also in the All Species Day Parade and Science Day Parade held the previous weekend.
Once the march ended, there was live music and light snacks held at the Labyrinth Peace Park behind The Gaia House.
As for the future, there are no set-in-stone plans for another march of this kind, but Treesong said he would like to continue having similar marches or meetings in the effort to keep the momentum going after the event.
“We gather here today, but it doesn’t end today,” he said. “We are going to continue doing what we can for the climate from this point forward.”