World leaders haven’t done enough to address climate change, according to over 300,000 people who gathered in New York City yesterday. CEA members were part of the diverse group who joined together for the People’s Climate March, calling for action to stop global warming.
“It was awesome and amazing to have so many people all gathered together focused on what we can do to save the earth,” John Horrigan, an NEA Director for CEA and a librarian at Coleytown Middle School in Westport, said. “It was really exciting to be with all those other like-minded people in one place.”
Greenwich Education Association President Carol Sutton told the New York Times, “I’m here because I really feel that every major social movement in this country has come when people get together. It begins in the streets.”
The march was organized by a variety of groups representing diverse constituents with a shared concern for global warming. Similar events, designed to coincide with the New York City march, also took place Sunday ahead of a United Nations Climate Summit this week.
“This is a social justice issue that, as teachers, really resonates with us, our students, and their families,” Horrigan said. Educators and students were grouped together for the march, and Horrigan said that standing together was exciting and empowering.
CEA Vice President Jeff Leake also marched yesterday and said he was glad to be able to represent CEA at such an important event. “Connecticut teachers speak up on behalf of issues that affect not just our students, but students all around the world. It was gratifying to be able to join with so many others in a show of numbers to call attention to climate change and ask for action, not just words,” he said.
“It was great to work with CEA Political Action Coordinator Conor Casey and representatives from other unions after the CEA Board of Directors endorsed the march,” Leake added.
Horrigan said that a march is a good way to show decision makers how many people care about an issue. “You can write letters, but showing up for a march proves just how many people have a real strength of commitment.”
One of the most powerful moments of the march for Horrigan was a moment of silence observed by the entire crowd. “It was amazing to be in the middle of so many people – who had been shouting and beating drums minutes before – yet you could have heard a pin drop,” he said. “Then, from the back of the line, way up Central Park West, you could hear a crescendo building until it got to us and we started shouting – raising the alarm.”