The numbers can be debated but consensus on the problem of climate change has become nearly unanimous and that could be seen by the support for the rally last Saturday. I met up with fellow UW students in Red Square, and after taking a group photo, we all bussed down to Occidental Park to meet up with the main Seattle cause. Reaching our stop, we walked down to the park, passing rows and rows of Seattle PD and their motorcycles, awaiting to escort us. From afar, I saw a large crowd already there and the energy already was palpable. The view comforted me, with a large cross section of Seattle all coming together to march for the planet. It reminded me of Green Drinks, feeling not so much at home, as at ease and proud of the people I live near.
Music, along with signs, filled the air, building up the level of excitement as the time to begin the walk neared. Eventually, volunteers gathered around and started directing us to the march. A row of children led the procession, carrying a sign with our cry, "Step It Up Congress, Cut Carbon 80% by 2050." The march was lively, despite Seattle rain, with various chants and cheers keeping the beat of the cause as we walked along against the piers on Elliot. A few people on the sidelines held signs and shouted support; a special toddler held a sign reading "I hope I can snowboard when I grow up."The Sightline Institute to Patagonia to Grist participated in the event also.
CFLs, the twisty lightbulbs of choice today, were handed out and a photo captured a group of us holding them up proudly under the now shining sun. The weather clearing up after the long march, a reward for those that made the trek. Afterwards, I left for home, unfortunately missing out on the speakers lined up for the rally, including Ron Sims, Jay Inslee, and Greg Nickels, among others. The important thing is that the local government is supporting the event though.
Overall, I felt that the day was successful, not just for me, but for the green movement in general. Hopefully events like these will propel the importance of our planet forward and help build the momentum needed to get people and the government to change. At this point though, I am already excited to see what is next.
See more reports of the Seattle event.