Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in New York to demand that the United Nations, whose General Assembly is meeting this week, take action to stop climate change. Among the throngs of activists, faith groups, front-line community members, and students was a large crowd of Brown students, myself included. Over 150 students traveled to New York through 350.org’s official buses alone, so it’s likely that the grand total of members of the Brown community who were present is much higher.
Though some traveled to New York on Saturday to attend a very engaging Youth Convergence conference at a Manhattan high school, the main event began Sunday at 10:30 AM, when the Rhode Island contingent, including U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, convened at 71st street and Central Park West. At first, there was very little marching to be done. With over
310,000 400,000 (!!) people clogging up about a mile and a half of a New York City avenue, it took a while for there to be any empty space available for one to move into. The waiting did, however, provide ample time for judging the very creative costumes and signs near us. The clear winner was an older man holding a poster that read, “I couldn’t buy a politician, so I bought this sign.” He got a picture with Senator Whitehouse.