Sunday was a busy day for activism in San Diego and around the world, as 1,000 or more people filled Civic Center Plaza downtown to demand leadership from government in taking action to stem the tide of climate change, taking part in the People’s Climate March.
The event world-wide featured more than 2,700 demonstrations including an event that drew an estimated 400,000 people in New York City.
The action started downtown, where more than sixty groups organized by sandiego350.org coalesced to hear City Council President Todd Gloria promise action as early as Monday on the climate action plan released during his brief stint as mayor that has garnered little attention since the installation of Republican Kevin Faulconer.
Gloria’s goals include a city that is entirely powered by renewable energy sources and sends almost no waste to landfills by the year 2035.
The crowd then took to the streets. The crowd was accompanied by a large police escort as the lineup, clogging streets for more than a quarter mile, made their way to the Santa Fe Depot, where Monique Lopez of the Environmental Health Coalition lectured march participants on the vital role mass transit would play in any greenhouse gas-reducing scheme, as passenger cars are the #1 hurdle to cutting emissions in San Diego.
“Freeways can wait, people can’t!” intoned Lopez, to large cheers from the crowd.
“I’m 11 years old. I may not be able to vote or drive yet, but I’ve been fighting to protect the environment since I was 5 years old,” added Sienna, a polished young speaker who’s already delivered multiple climate change speeches, including her own TEDx address.
The group continued on to the lawn between the county administration building and San Diego’s bayfront, where they were greeted by musician Steph Johnson before another round of speakers, which included several representatives from the Interfaith Committee on Worker Justice, labor leader Richard Barrera, and San Diego Unified School District President Kevin Beiser.