Hundreds of Thousands Join People's Climate March in New York City

September 29, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


View shown of whole people's climate march from above

Photo: AP

In response to the climate crisis, 300,000-400,000 people came into the streets on September 21 in New York City two days before a UN Climate Change Summit of world leaders. The people's climate march is the largest march of its kind in history and represents a potential turning point. The march's slogan "Change Everything" meant different things to different people. There were many contending viewpoints at the march about the cause and the solution to the crisis, but the march showed a deep feeling among millions that the actions of the world's powers do not measure up to what is needed, and that if the planet is going to be saved, it's up to the people. After the march, there is a moment to seize, a challenge to the revolutionaries to work consistently with people to connect standing up to save the planet together to building a movement for what has the only possibility of saving the planet, a revolution.

kids with climate change affects us most banner from slide show

Photo: AP

The march was led by young people representing indigenous peoples and people from the Global South—those who have done the least to cause climate change, but those suffering the most. The poorest on the planet will suffer indescribably more if things continue as they are, from drought, flooding, sea level rise, lack of food, massive displacement of whole populations and increasing conflicts. Youth and students poured out in record numbers to the march. Students came from hundreds of different campuses and one estimate said 50,000 students participated in the march.

picture of Revcom contingent

Photo: Special to

The Revolutionary Communist Party organized a contingent for the march: “Capitalism Is Destroying the Planet, We Need Revolution Nothing Less” (right). It had real impact with a big banner and striking chants about the source and revolutionary solution to the emergency. Only the overthrow of capitalism, and then the most radical and thoroughgoing socialist transformation of the economic and social system and its values can enable humanity to act on the climate crisis. What that would look like, and how a new and radically different state power would function, is spelled out in the Constitution for The New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) from the RCP, USA. Only a sustainable socialist economy and liberatory society make it possible to mobilize the knowledge and creative potential of people and to devote the necessary resources to truly confront and tackle this climate crisis--on the scale and with the urgency required.

Bangladesh flooded during monsoon season.

Bangladesh flooded during monsoon season. Photo: AP

Climate change is already causing more extreme storms and sea level rise. Scientists say the climate crisis is accelerating toward a catastrophe that will hit the poorest people on the planet the worst. The changing climate is caused by the build-up in Earth's atmosphere of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and other practices driven by the capitalist system.

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