by Lilly Wang
This past President’s Day weekend, over 35,000 protesters gathered on the National Mall urging President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline in the biggest climate rally ever organized in the US.
Our own TR! intern Diego Laurenti Sellers hopped on board a charter bus provided by 350.org to make the trek down to DC. During the trip, he wrote a letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren urging her to take a strong stand on the issue of climate change and to back legislation rejecting its construction.
The rally drew a diverse crowd including people from all ages and political leanings: political leftists, representatives from green companies on Wall Street, and figureheads such as Rosario Dawson who urged the Latin American community to take a strong stand on climate change.
According to Diego, a crucial part of the rally was the presence of a variety of performers and street theater artists who drew attention to issues of wildlife extinction by dressing up as polar bears and wild animals while doubling as entertainment for the many young kids at the rally. It’s these types of creative activism that forge unity across diverse groups.
The success of the rally brings encouragement that issues of climate change have hit the mainstream, but the work doesn’t stop here.
Want to get involved? Take Annie Leonard‘s advice: “
“Making real change takes all kinds of citizens – not just protestors. When you realize what you’re good at and what you like to do, plugging in doesn’t seem so hard. Whatever you have to offer, a better future needs it.
So ask yourself, ‘What kind of change maker am I?’ We need investigators, communicators, builders, resisters, nurturers, and networkers.”
Get involved in any way you can, it takes a wide range of people with a wide range of skills to make real change happen. While the Keystone Pipeline buzzword represents a key point in legislation, there’s more to the climate change movement than preventative measures. Important work lies in shifting the world away from fossil fuels and onto cleaner forms of energy. Let’s keep the momentum going!