The College Democrats of Massachusetts (CDM) have announced their intent to participate as an organization in the Peoples' Climate March. Through a vote taken this week, they became the first state federation of the College Democrats of America to endorse the People’s Climate March in an official capacity.
The Peoples' Climate March, set to occur on Sunday, September 21st, will be the largest political demonstration on climate change to yet take place. The March, set to travel through Time's Square, will coincide with a United Nations Summit on September 23rd discussing attempts to address climate change, which will proceed a 2015 summit in Paris. Diplomats hope to agree upon a binding treaty in Paris, the first such since the 1997 Kyoto Accords and the first major attempt since the failure of the 2009 Copenhagen Conference to reach a consensus. Activists see Paris as the last chance for nations to reach long-term binding emissions targets while still staving off the warming above the internationally agreed upon 2°C limit.
Over 1,000 organizations have joined on as partnering organizations for the People’s Climate March. This diverse coalition includes businesses, unions, religious groups, environmental groups, schools, social justice groups, and more. The diversity of this action, which has placed an emphasis on youth, minorities, labor, and impacted communities, helped drive CDM’s decision to join the PCM.
CDM’s Environmental Caucus, which previously announced CDM’s support for the fossil fuel divestment movement, applauded the decision. “This is a moment that we need to seize,” said Environmental Caucus Chair Austin Williams. “President Obama will be in New York City to press for a global climate treaty. As Democrats, it is our responsibility to ensure that he has the support to pursue an ambitious agenda that addresses this problem.”
The Black, Hispanic, and newly launched Labor Caucuses also indicated their support for the People’s Climate March. “Communities of color are the most hard hit by climate disasters, and are often economically unequipped to respond”, said Hispanic Caucus Chair Andres Vargas. “This isn’t just about glaciers, it’s about providing our communities with a just, livable future.” With over 80 unions signed on to date, the People’s Climate March also marks a shift in how organized labor approaches climate change. While environmentalists and labor have fought in the past over fossil fuel infrastructure projects, in New York City they will be united in a call for green jobs and stringent cuts to greenhouse gas emissions.
“The College Democrats of Massachusetts has an obligation to help lead the way towards a clean energy future that protects the most vulnerable amongst us from the devastating impacts of climate change,” stated CDM President Marvin McMoore. “We’ll rise to the challenge of this occasion to ensure that politicians understand that tackling the climate crisis is a prerequisite for our support. We recognize that climate change goes beyond politics however- it’s bigger than that. We’re in this together, and we can’t afford to sit this out. When the time comes on September 21st, the College Democrats of Massachusetts will take to streets.”
The College Democrats of Massachusetts are expected to march as a contingent on September 21st.