People protesting in great numbers or with great effect comes and goes. There are 2 types of “marching in the street”. There is Cause Marching and there is Purpose Marching. These types of protests can draw people from all over the country and draw hundreds of thousands of people; or they can consist of 25 people and Al Sharpton Marching in front of the New York Times building. Sometimes those protests can escalate to riots. Most notably the Civil War Veteran’s protest that rankled Grant’s first Term in office and the Hay Market incident in Chicago. The Poverty March on Washington led by Martin Luther King was a more peaceful example. But the March Against Climate Change was not going to be one of those.
You could tell by the lack of activity on the internet and the preposterous claims by the organizers, that this was pretty much going to be a dud. I mean does no one think rationally about these things. The organizers thought that 10,000 people would come to DC and protest in early March? In the dead of winter? Maybe on a nice spring day but….So maybe 10,000 people came to the PowerShift09 Conference but didn’t want to freeze there butts off or maybe the conference was a bust too. Who knows? Nobody is really saying. But from the pictures and everyone’s estimates about 2,500 people showed up in the SNOW…What? Don’t they get the Weather Channel? All that having been said, here is how the regular media guys saw it:
Despite Snow — and Irony —
a Climate Protest Persists
The call rang out through Washington early on the morning of March 2: the biggest act of civil disobedience against global warming in American history would not, in fact, be snowed out.
Environmental groups, led by Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network, had enlisted eco-celebrities such as Robert Kennedy Jr. and Bill McKibben and registered more than 2,000 youth protesters from around the country for a march on the coal-fired Capitol Power Plant, which supplies steam and cooled water to Congress. They planned to shut down the plant by peacefully blocking the entrances, a textbook act of civil disobedience for which many expected — perhaps eagerly — to be arrested. The message was simple: the burning of coal, which accounts for some 40% of U.S. carbon emissions, “is destroying the planet through global warming,” as Kennedy put it. America needs to get off coal, which supplies nearly half the country’s electricity, if it wants to have any hope of controlling its greenhouse gas emissions, and it should start with the Capitol plant. (See the top 10 green ideas of 2008.)
As it turned out, the action may have been almost too successful. On Feb. 26, just a few days before the protest, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Harry Reid called for the 103-year-old plant to switch from coal to cleaner-burning natural gas, a move long pushed for by environmentalists but blocked by representatives from coal-heavy states. Protesters claimed an early victory. “Getting the plant to switch shows the power of popular pressure,” said Steven Biel, the director of Greenpeace’s global-warming campaign. But there was no doubt that by responding before the protesters hit the streets of the capital, Congress was simply moving one set of goalposts off the field.
This is how the organizers saw it. Please note that they only list three media sources. I call that a “big whup”
March 3rd, 2009
Yesterday thousands of people came together to offer an unprecedented example of mass protest and civil disobedience for the climate.
More than 2500 activists, many willing to risk arrest, successfully blockaded all five entrances to the Capitol Power Plant for more than four hours.
As impressive as that is, this action wasn’t just about this one coal-fired powerplant. The scale and the commitment of the participants was the biggest example yet of the kind of public support necessary to solve the climate crisis.
We aren’t going to stop global warming by just changing lightbulbs and driving hybrid cars. The only real solution is to come together and demand unprecedented change through unprecedented action.
And that’s exactly what happened yesterday.
Take a look at the media coverage of the action:
From the AP: Thousands rally for legislation on climate change
In Time Magazine: Despite Snow — and Irony — a Climate Protest Persists
Victory: this is how to stop global warming
March 2nd, 2009
More amazing images from the largest mass civil disobedience for the climate in U.S. history where thousands of activists shut down the Capitol Power Plant. The only way we’re going to solve the climate crisis is by coming together and taking action. Like this:
Either way it looks sooooo cold. The only way to get warm was to go back to your hotel room and suck power.
“God has a sense of humor,” said protester Rhody Streeter, of Louisville, Ky., referring to the weather.