Climate March Lake Merritt 2017
On April 29, which marked the end of the first 100 days of the Trump administration. CodePink and hundreds of people choosing to spend a beautiful solar afternoon at Lake Merritt, danced, rallied, marched, urging a fight against climate change and protesting President Donald Trump’s policies. The rally featured talks, music, from local artists, dozens of booths with information on sustainable living. The grassy area in front of the Lake Merritt Amphitheater teemed with a diverse mix of people: young children, parents, college students and veteran activists. Oakland’s was one of more than 250 sister marches supporting the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C., and police estimated total attendance at 2,500. CodePink Golden Gate started it’s climate day with an action at a downtown Oakland Wells Fargo Bank to shut toxic banks.
CodePink Golden Gate, with accomplices from Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland, Indivisible Berkeley, 350.org, Sunflower Alliance and Progressive Democrats of America closed a downtown Oakland Wells Fargo Bank for the 4/29 Climate Mobilization, and then was showered with applause at the Climate Movement event at Lake Merritt. Beautiful trouble indeed! CodePink took this action so people can be inspired to step up to shut toxic banks, divest from financial instruments, move their money, demand that their cities, pension plans, churches, workplaces, schools, clubs, organizations move their money, from the 17 felonious financial institutions funding Energy Transfer Partners and the Dakota Access Pipeline project as well as the many other pipelines, toxic fossil fuel projects, private prisons, and to reject Wall Street banks and their unethical and criminal behavior. The best place for your money is a well-established and local credit union, or small local community bank.
While the toxic bank shut down action was going on, other members of CodePink SF Bay Area set up a booth for outreach. We pass out information and stickers: make out not war and Rise Love Resist, both were very popular and many people could be seen wearing the stickers around the event. We inform people about what CodePink is and does. For example we told about the Shut down Creech action that was going on at that time and many people replied they had seen it on the news. We renewed acquaintances with old friends, many people asked about Medea who remembered her from her days in San Francisco and one person mention what a great speaker she is. Also people told us that they knew about CodePink and loved us and appreciated the great work CodePink does!
Attendees walking past the booth, around the event and marching around the lake hoisted a bevvy of signs directed at Trump’s environmental stance. Some of those signs read: “Make Mother Nature Great Again,” “The Future is Ours But We Have to Planet,” and “Fossil fuels will make us fossil fools.”
During his run on the campaign trail and time in the White House, Trump has called climate change a hoax. He has also pulled back restrictions for greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants and, among other controversial environment-related decisions, signed an executive order designed to expand oil drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. “Our purpose is to bring people together to build the resistance to Trump and advocate for environmental justice in the Bay Area,” said Steve Nadel, one of the event’s organizers and a member of Sunflower Alliance, a Bay Area climate movement.
The event included speeches by Rep. Barbara Lee and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, as well as music by LoCura and Rupa & the April Fishes , spoken word artist Jevon Cochran, comedian Margo Gomez and dance by environmental activists choreographing a dance to a “Soil” version of Lorde’s “Royals,” all from a bike powered stage at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater.
The culminating event of the day was the march around the lake led by drummers drumming out a message to President Trump that climate change is real and demanding an immediate halt and reverse of his catastrophic measures that are a threat to humanity. A world safe from the ravage of climate change and an economy that works for people and the planet.
A Great time was had by all!
Barbara, Bobbie, Cynthia, Eleanor, Karen, Martha, Nancy, Renay, Stephania, Susan, Tim, Toby and the CODEPINK SF Bay Area team.
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