With the People’s Climate Movement close on the heels of the worldwide Science March, concerned
citizens are working hard to keep climate change in the mind of the public and, with any luck, our politicians.

But the movement toward climate justice isn’t just happening in the streets, it’s also taking place through devoted organizations including the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, which empowers citizens to influence members of Congress and advocate for national policies to address climate change, the global network 350.org, which confronts the power of the fossil fuel industry while also working locally with communities affected most by climate change and Sierra Club in their Ready for 100% campaign to move cities toward 100% clean and renewable energy. Many of these organizations spoke at the various events held across the nation last Saturday, helping direct people toward what to do next, after the streets are emptied and the signs are put down.

Having returned to Florida after participating in the last month’s science march, along with various other Wild Lens correspondents who covered various sister rallies across the nation, I headed to my nearest climate rally, this one hosted by the Sarasota Climate Justice Coalition. The energized crowd lined the streets, eliciting honks and waves from passing motorists on the busy Bayfront Drive alongside downtown Sarasota, overlooking Sarasota Bay. There was tremendous support, says Sean Sellers, volunteer chair of the Sarasota coalition, “For every one thumbs down or middle finger, there were at least ten honks.” But the rally wasn’t about simply increasing awareness, although it did a great job at that, it was also about getting support for the Petition for City of Sarasota to Transition to 100% Renewable Energy, with already 337 signatures collected toward a goal of 400.

So all this work on the streets is only the beginning. There’s much hard work yet to be done and it will take the devotion of not just these organizations but our own as well.

 

 

Speakers at the Sarasota Stands for Climate Justice Rally included:
Sierra Club Manatee and Sarasota Counties
Suncoast Waterkeeper
Stand Up Fight Back SRQ
All of Us Sarasota
Answer Coalition
Citizens’ Climate Lobby Sarasota-Bradenton






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