On Sept. 21, 2014 the Peoples Climate Movement organized the historic Peoples Climate March on the eve of the UN Climate Summit. As heads of state from around the world gathered, 400,000 people from every walk of life marched through the streets of New York City demanding bold and urgent action of the global climate crisis.
The months of organizing and the day itself helped to re-boot the climate movement in this country. We made visible the depth and breadth of concern about the climate crisis and the role the U.S. must play in meeting that crisis. We gave life to our understanding that our fight is a struggle for justice: securing climate justice means a commitment to the fights for economic and racial justice.
That march laid the foundation for the growth of the Peoples Climate Movement. The work of the PCM is grounded in a set of core principles:
- Prioritize leadership of front-line communities, communities of color, low-income communities, workers and others impacted by climate, economic and racial inequity.
- Use the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing to ground our work.
- Build a coordinated but decentralized structure that lifts up a common platform and message while being flexible enough to create more opportunities for connection to local issues, ownership and engagement in the movement.
- Work in a way that helps to strengthen and build the capacity of the local organizing.
- Develop opportunities for a range of organizations and social movements to work together, and to us our joint efforts to give greater visibility to our common struggle. This includes, but is not limited to, putting people into the streets as we demand policy changes and bold action.
In 2015 the Peoples Climate Movement focused its collective energy on strengthening the climate justice movement at the local level. That October we organized 200 actions in 48 locations mostly led by front-line communities, unions, faith groups, youth, and people of color organizations. These actions highlighted the on-the-ground realities in their cities, and tied those struggles to the national movement.