Around 30 Wellesley College students joined the estimated 400,000 people who gathered in New York City last Sunday for the People’s Climate March. The march was the largest ever climate-related protest. which took place two days before the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit on Sept. 23 and aimed to urge world leaders to take action against the effects of climate change. More than 120 world leaders convened Tuesday for this summit meeting aimed at creating a new global climate treaty by the end of 2015.
The march was organized by 350.org, a network working to build a global movement against climate change. Similar marches pushing for action against climate change took place in over 150 different cities across the globe including a march that took place in Boston the same day. In New York City, the march traveled from Midtown to Columbus Circle to Times Square and the Far West Side, lasting all afternoon.
People from all over the world convened, from various colleges and a wide array of age groups. It drew notable figures like former Vice President Al Gore and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Sprinkled throughout the sea of signs and marchers were street performers and sculptures resembling parade floats.
Lisa Olney, one of the six members who lead Sustainable Wellesley, headed the efforts to bring Wellesley students to the march. Sustainable Wellesley is a group of local volunteers who attempt to promote sustainability in Wellesley and in the world.
Sustainable Wellesley and Ashley Funk ’16, who is part of Scoop, Wellesley’s sustainable living cooperative, organized transportation from Wellesley to New York City for students interested in taking part in the march. After receiving a $1,900 subsidy from the organizers of the march, Sustainable Wellesley subsidized bus tickets for Wellesley students.
“We’re just so excited you guys are here,” Olney said to the students who attended on the day of the march, “I was inspired that there was such an intense interest.”
Students from Wellesley marched with signs alongside the other protesters.
“To me, climate justice brings together a lot of issues,” said Meredith Wade ’17 who attended the march. “It really sits on the intersection between environmental issues and issues of social justice and equality.”
“If we don’t have a world to live in, all other causes are useless,” she said. “So this the first thing that needs to be dealt with before we deal with any other inequalities in the world.”