How do we effect change? We march. We put ourselves out on the streets with tens, hundreds, thousands of other people.
In this case, I marched on February 7th in Oakland, CA for Climate Leadership with over twenty of my San Jose State University students. Before we hit the streets, we held a circle in front of the Unitarian Church of Oakland. Where we remembered why we march: because we’re standing on the side of love.
Reports from students who attended:
“Saturday’s Climate Change Rally in Oakland was a blast! The clouds parted and the rain held off for literally the exact amount of time for the rally to complete. I met some fellow students from another class: Jerry, Yessica, and Elizabeth (plus the 3 month old pup Rocky that chases cars), and we got to experience the unified presence of those that made their presence known in the fight for environmental protection.
The rally began in the central park area, with gatherers flaunting their signs and decorative wear. The majority of the protection aspects were focused on anti-fracking, the extinguishing of dependency of fossil fuels, and the fact that the Earth is our gift rather then our unilateral resource. The four of us ventured through the parade-like rally, filled with banners, message-ridden parachutes, bull-horn advocators, and a little general weirdness.
The experience was great, the weather was perfect, and we were given an approving sprinkle of rain at the very end; a thank you from Mother Nature for taking the time to appreciate her and state that we are here to protect her. “
“This was the first March that I have ever attended and walked in. I was actually surprised about how the March went. Everyone seemed passionate and loud, but it was not angry. There was a call for action, but no hostility. Overall the mood was joyful and optimistic. When ever I thought of a march in the past or witnessed the ones at San Jose State, there seems to be a sense of anger and tension associated and this was not the case. I was very glad to see that. I also loved how the people had giant bamboo poles with signs attached that were handed out and waived like giant flags. It brought people together and felt like a family event. I would not have ever thought I would have participated in an ecological march, but this experience changed my mind and it might be something I do again in the future, not just for the extra credit points but to join people in fighting for what is right.
Also I did not know what Fracking was when I came to the March. I looked it up at the March and it is now something that I am aware of. “
“In the past I have marched on campus for racial inequality and sexual assault awareness, this would be my first city-wide scaled march and my first demonstration for a call to action on environmental issues.As an Environmental Studies major, minoring in Energy Policy, I was compelled to join to march in order demonstrate my stance on the issue as anti-fracking. The march itself, I must say, was an extraordinary and humbling experience to join a demonstration of that size with people who are fighting for the same thing as I am. To further augment the experience, I was honored to carry a large banner with ‘End Fossil Fuels’ on it with new friends, yelling as loud as I can with the other marchers. It felt great being a part o fsomething that is much larger than I am and for that reason, this march will not be my last.“