Building Blocks Against Climate Change
Climate Politics and Advocacy Tar Sands

Hundreds Demonstrate in LA to Support People’s Climate Mobilization


VIDEO: Almost a thousand Southern Californians Demonstrated in a unique action along Wilshire Boulevard called Building Blocks Against Climate Change in Solidarity with Historic People’s Climate Mobilization in New York City Demanding Immediate Action on Climate Crisis. MORE INFO: Watch the livestream of the NYC Event!

People’s Climate LA – Building Blocks Against Climate Change Press Conference with LA Councilmember Paul Koretz

***Press Release for Saturday, September 20, 2014***

Hundreds of Southern Californians Demonstrate along Wilshire Boulevard in Solidarity with Historic People’s Climate Mobilization in New York City Demanding Immediate Action on Climate Crisis

A unique demonstration on climate change coincides with 2,000 mobilizations across the world calling for action to avert crises like the historic California drought

Los Angeles – Southern Californians, watching their hillsides burn and reservoirs drying in the worst drought in a century, came out to Wilshire Boulevard Saturday to demand urgent national action on climate change. Hundreds of activists and supporters from a wide array of environmental, humanitarian, religious, political, labor, civil rights, student, and community organizations demonstrated with signs and impromptu speeches amid the clamor of city traffic. The event was planned in solidarity with the People’s Climate Mobilization, headlined by the biggest climate demonstration ever on Sunday in New York City.

Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz held a press conference in the shadow of Wilshire Boulevard office buildings with SoCal 350 Climate Action Coalition and Sierra Club, calling for President Obama to reject tar sands pipelines such as the Keystone XL and the Alberta Clipper, importing dirty bitumen crude from Canada. Other organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, Martin Luther King Coalition of Greater Los Angeles, and Progressive Christians Uniting also rallied the diverse crowd meandering by on the crowded sidewalks.

STORY: People’s Climate Movement: The End of Business as Usual

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Councilmember Koretz, said, “We are here today to send a strong message to next week’s United Nations Climate Summit that the people of Los Angeles are with you in pushing hard for immediate and worldwide climate emissions reductions.” The Councilmember walks his talk, as he recently advanced a motion to cut greenhouse gases citywide by 80 percent by 2050.

Demonstrators carrying an array of signs and banners called for 100% clean energy and stopping extreme extraction methods like hydraulic fracturing or fracking that threaten water supplies. Other activists called for stricter regulations on dangerous oil trains and tanker ships, liquefied natural gas terminals, and coal export facilities that endanger communities and facilitate massive increases in greenhouse gases. Only strong measures will preserve California’s water supply, coasts, and forests for future generations.

The Wilshire demonstration, dubbed “Building Blocks Against Climate Change” by organizers Converging Storms Action Network, formed a chain of interlinking block protests, with over 60 organizations holding neighborhood vigils or sidewalk picket lines that extended block after adjacent block through the MacArthur Park and Koreatown neighborhoods. Main organizer Lisa Lubow characterized it thus: “This Building Blocks Against Climate Change political action — what one friend called a come-as-you are, do-it-yourself, potluck protest — if we can demonstrate to people throughout the country just how powerful a grassroots, decentralized, diverse, multi-group, truly democratic approach to organizing can be, then perhaps we not only will have set a new example, but also laid important groundwork for building that mass movement we so urgently need if we are to stop climate change and save life on earth.”

STORY: Call to Action California: How to Solve the Climate Crisis

Building Blocks Against Climate Change

Youth of all ages came out in numbers in the streets, Saturday, declaring with signs like: “We Deserve a Future.” Diego Zapata, Senior at Bravo High in LA said at the press conference, “Deforestation, ozone depletion, pollution of oceans, a deleterious agricultural system, the destruction of entire ecosystems – none of these are the most difficult challenges we face. The most arduous challenge we face today as a people is having to change an impetuous, mercenary world culture that does not take into account the wellbeing of the environment in each decision we make. It is the tragedy of the commons.”

And finally, Joel Reynolds, Western Director, NRDC, added in a statement: “The greatest threat to our children’s future is climate change. Let our elected leaders know — loud and clear — that the time for decisive action to end our addiction to fossil fuels, embrace a clean-energy future, and protect our children and future generations, is now.”

In New York City, over 300,000 people attended the demonstration on Sunday. The People’s Climate March has been endorsed by over 1,500 organizations. 496 buses are coming in from nearly all 50 states. Other California solidarity actions happened in the Bay Area, San Diego, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura, and 2,000 events took place worldwide.

The NYC march organizers, and, hope that this mobilization will become the iconic transition moment for the climate movement, much like what the 1963 March on Washington represented for the civil rights movement. So, in Los Angeles as in New York, people are in the streets calling for action, and in the words of noted climate change author Naomi Klein, “This Changes Everything.”

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