On September 21, a large and diverse crowd of environmentalists, social justice, labor and religious groups, representatives from local tribes and many others filled Westlake Park for the Seattle People’s Climate March. The Seattle event was held, along with many others in cities around the world, in solidarity with the main People’s Climate March in New York City, a historically-large climate change rally and march that saw an estimated 310,000 people flood the streets of Manhattan to demand action on climate change. Seattle organizers said they counted 2,000 people in Westlake Park.
Both the New York and Seattle events were held to show popular support for climate action in advance of a United Nations summit meeting on Tuesday in which world leaders will discuss pressing climate issues. The Seattle event also focused on a number of local issues, including Northwest coal exports, oil trains, Puget Sound pollution, clean energy, environmental justice for people disproportionately affected by climate change and more.
The hour and a half rally in Westlake featured speakers and several musicians, including representatives from local unions and the NAACP, and ended with a march through downtown to Myrtle Edwards Park.
The crowd listens to speakers in Westlake Park at the Seattle People’s Climate March.
“The Earth Ball was a retirement gift to myself when I retired from University of Washington. I’m concerned about the survival of the planet.” — Mary Ellen Anderson, Seattle.
“Climate change is a socialist issue. Less developed nations are suffering the consequences of climate change, but don’t have the infrastructure to protect themselves like developed nations do.” — Sarah Scott, Seattle
Socialist Alternative candidate Jess Spear was one of main organizers for the Seattle People’s Climate March.
“We’re part of our school’s Creation Care Club. We’re here because we only have one earth and we need to take care of it.” — Krista Watkins (left) and fellow students from Trinity Lutheran College, Everett
“Climate change affects so many issues. Genetically modified organisms are hurting our pollinators — the bees and the butterflies. I’m adding my voice to the crowd for climate justice.” — Cindy Black, Seattle
Protestors listen to speakers at the climate rally.
Kirkland Rapper Bmaniphesto performed for the crowd to kick off the rally in Westlake Park. “Everyone needs a baseline understanding of climate change and its impacts. Just cause waves haven’t crashed on Seattle yet doesn’t mean it’s not affecting us. This is an everyone issue.”
“Bangor Navel Base has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons on the planet. If that isn’t the greatest climate threat, then what is?” — Mona Lee (Right) with Rodney Brunelle (Left), Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, Seattle
The Raging Grannies sang a song about climate action to close the rally.
Climate marchers head down Pine Street from Westlake Park.
People’s Climate March attendees were a diverse mix.
Many people at the Climate March were protesting BNSF oil trains.