This weekend, Washington, D.C. will be flooded with hundreds of thousands of people clamoring for change in what they see is the Trump administration's attack on the progress made in the past eight years on climate change. It's the second weekend in a row that marchers have taken to the streets in the nation's capitol. Last weekend's March for Science wasn't meant to be political, while the People's Climate March on April 29 is very much focused on political action, crying foul on Trump, and science-denying lawmakers.
This People's Climate March -- which just so happens will be held on Trump's 100th day as president -- hopes to build on the momentum of not only recent similar marches, but also the landmark September 2014 event of the same name. The Climate March four years ago drew enormous crowds to Washington and around the globe to push the government to deliver a climate deal, and it worked. Fifteen months later, President Obama, along with other world leaders gathered, for the United Nations Climate Summit and signed the Paris Agreement. They pledged to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and its effects on the environment. But now a mere two years later, that pledge and countless more, are in jeopardy.
It's going to be a big deal, but what if you just can't make it to D.C. to march? While getting there any way you can is preferable, there are still steps you can take to participate in solidarity.
1. Join a Local Event
Though the entire march is focused around D.C., the organizers stress that it's merely a convenient focal point for a larger collective across the country. Specifically, there are a ton of great sister marches going on in local areas, and the PCM has set up a handy page on its website for you to input your area code to see what other rallies and marches are happening all around the country at the same time. There are 15 separate rallies marches going on in New York City alone, so what's happening in your neck of the woods?
The cornerstone of any effort like this -- from political campaigns to other organizations -- is to keep the lights on. If you can't get to D.C., and can't even make it to a local event (It may be Saturday, but hey, some of us still have to work), the most basic way to contribute is to literally contribute. Any amount donated helps to keep the message alive as this is a long-term effort. You could also snag a T-shirt or tote bag while you're at it to guarantee your proceeds go to the right place.
3. Contact Your Member of Congress
It means a lot when you bug your members of Congress about the issues you care about. When it just so happens that there are thousands of people marching outside their Washington, D.C. offices for a handful of those key issues it's also totally worth it to call and remind them about it too. It's right there in the PCM FAQ: "[The PCM] believes strongly in the need to call out the politicians who threaten our climate, communities, and jobs, and put forward an alternative vision for an economy that works for people and planet."
4. Spread the Word on Social Media
"Slacktivism" is kind of a dirty word, but if you spread the word on social media then you're involved in pushing the momentum of the march along with the people already there. The March itself mobilizes people in D.C., but if you throw up a #ClimateMarch or #PeoplesClimate hashtag then you're doing your small part in mobilizing the issue in a digital way.
5. Continue to Organize and Mobilize
Don't feel too bummed if you can't make it. The march depends on hundreds of thousands of people on the ground to make a huge impact on April 29, but that's only the beginning. If it's nagging you that you don't participate, then use it to continue to build a movement of resistance. Organize your own group, and act while we still can.