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From the March and Beyond: The Enduring Pursuit for Climate Justice

Two days ago, I was one of 400,000 people in New York City–and one of many more worldwide–who took to the streets demanding climate justice.

Program Coordinator, Sahita Pierre-Antoine; Executive Director, Yifat Susskind and Communications Director, Diana Duarte at the climate justice march
[l to r] MADRE’s staff: Program Coordinator, Sahita Pierre-Antoine; Executive Director, Yifat Susskind and Communications Director, Diana Duarte.

As we chanted and marched, ​big questions h​ung in the air​.

Can we rally around a definition of climate justice based on doing away with business as usual, including the economic models that created this crisis and the discrimination that puts some of us in greater danger from ​the impacts of climate change? Do we all understand that there can be no climate justice without gender justice?

M​any more vital questions​ will be​ ​asked in the days to come. As we mold the answers, I will continue to be inspired by the people I marched with on Sunday.

I saw an elderly man​ ​walking with two canes​. His son march​ed alongside him, ​carrying a folding chair. ​Each time the march pause​d​, the son would open the chair so that his father could sit and rest for a few moments. Over and over again, he stood up and kept marching.

I saw a young girl, maybe six or seven years old, shouting into her cupped hands, “The people united will never be defeated!”

I saw thousands of people lined along the sidewalks, carrying signs with words like “There is no planet B” and “Be kind to your mother” over a drawing of Earth.

All of us, including MADRE’s grassroots partners from all over the world, are determined to confront climate change and protect our communities. Today, world leaders are busy making speeches at the big UN summit on climate change. By turning out in force, we’ve put them on notice that we are watching.