By Melissa Farr, Senior Distributed Organizer, Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter
“I’m marching because America is ready to take bold action to cut climate pollution!” Fred Kraybill, volunteer with the Allegheny Group and Clean Transportation Team, was ready to hit the New York City streets for the March to End Fossil Fuels on September 17. Fred, along with 40+ Sierra Club volunteers and staff from the Pittsburgh area, had arrived in the Big Apple after a nearly seven hour bus ride that morning.
Joining the western Pennsylvania contingent were Sierra Club supporters from across the state. The sold-out bus from Delaware County featured arguably one of the best banners of the day, hand painted earlier in the week by local artists Theresa Camerota, Sue Edwards, Peggy Hartzell, Robin Mann, Lou Ann Merkle, Sara Pilling, Louise Willis (see photo in slideshow).
Arriving at the Maine Monument in Central Park, Pennsylvania’s marchers had the chance to commune with Sierra Club volunteers and staff from neighboring chapters and the National office. Ben Jealous, Sierra Club Executive Director, reflected on the organization’s history of activism and his vision for a future free of fossil fuels in a nearly five-minute speech before marchers lined up to begin their journey.
Marchers proceeded down Broadway on a 1.3 mile route, ending at a rally stage at 1st and 52nd. A lineup of all-star speakers closed out the event, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Event organizers estimated 75,000 people participated, representing over 600 endorsing organizations and 150 self-organized grassroots hubs.
This blog was included as part of the November 2023 Sylvanian newsletter. Please click here to check out more articles from this edition!