everything you need to know about taking part in the people’s climate march

Heading to D.C. on April 29? Here’s a practical guide to protesting against President Trump’s plans to build the Keystone Pipeline and back out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

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Apr 24 2017, 6:35pm

photography dhilung kirat via flickr creative commons

The Trump administration has already inspired a flurry of peaceful protests during its three-month tenure. Americans and human rights advocates from around the world have staged impactful demonstrations that include: the Women's March, the March for Science, the New York bodega strikes, the Day without Women, and Day without Immigrants. And the resistance continues.

This weekend, the People's Climate March will take place in Washington, D.C. and 290 other locations across the globe. The march will protest the Trump administration's blatant disregard for protecting the environment and its attempts to undo the hard-fought progress made during the Obama administration. Namely by approving the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline and intentions to back out of the historic Paris Climate Agreement (both actions that directly oppose what the 400,000 participants of the 2014 People's Climate March campaigned for). You don't have to be an environmentalist or a "tree-hugger" to take part in the march. Climate change affects everyone: according to NASA, 2016 was the hottest year on record, and sea levels are continuing to rise. While Trump's presidency will only last for a few years, his planned legislative actions to dismantle environmental protections could have consequences that last for hundreds. Therefore, it is imperative that we come together and prevent Trump from smogging up the bright horizons of our planet's future generations.

While official attendance estimates have not been released, over 300,000 people attended the 2014 People's Climate March in New York City, and given the increased urgency and threat to the environment this time around, this year's attendance number will likely be even higher.

"The world might be getting scarier by the day, but young people aren't afraid," Kelly Langford, Youth Coordinator at the People's Climate March tells i-D. "This is the world we're inheriting. There's no way around that. There's an important empowerment to that and young people are beginning to step into leadership roles."

If you plan on attending the People's Climate March in Washington, D.C., here's what you need to know: 

Summer Heat Rally in D.C. in 2013. Photography by Stephen Melkisethian via Flickr Creative Commons. 

BEFORE YOU GO

Let's start with the basics:
Date: Saturday, April 29, 2017 (which is also the 100th day of Trump's presidency)
Time: Begins at 10am, ends at 5pm. 
Starting location: Protesters will meet at the Capitol at 12:30PM.
Route: The march will advance up Pennsylvania Avenue and then surround the White House.

Schedule:
11:00am: March Line-Up. Protesters will meet in front of the Capitol Building at 3rd and Jefferson SW.
12:30pm: March Kickoff.
3:00pm: End of March. Everyone involved in the march will reconvene at the Washington monument. There will be a concert open to the public following the march.
5:00pm: End of day's events.

Climate March in 2014. Photography Climate March via Flickr Creative Commons 

THE PLATFORM

The People's Climate Movement has released these eight objectives as its official platform:

  1. Directly and rapidly reduce greenhouse gas and toxic pollution to successfully combat climate change and improve public health.
  2. Mandate a transition to an equitable and sustainable New Energy and Economic Future that limits the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
  3. Provide a just transition for communities and workers negatively impacted by the shift to a New Energy and Economic Future that includes targeted economic opportunity and provides stable income, health care, and education.
  4. Demand that every job pays a wage of at least $15 an hour, protects workers, and provides a good standard of living, pathways out of poverty, and a right to organize.
  5. Ensure that investments are targeted to create pathways for low-income people and people of color to access good jobs and improve the lives of communities of color, indigenous peoples, low-income people, small farmers, women, and workers.
  6. Make bold investments in the resilience of states, cities, tribes, and communities that are threatened by climate change.
  7. Reinvest in a domestic industrial base that drives towards an equitable and sustainable New Energy and Economic Future, and fight back against the corporate trade-induced global race to the bottom.
  8. Market- and policy-based mechanisms must protect human rights and critical, native ecosystems and reduce pollution at source. 

TRAVELING TO D.C. 

There are a host of organizations and universities all over the country providing free or discounted buses to D.C. For example, if you live in N.Y.C., 350 Brooklyn is offering transportation for protesters. You can find a full list of options on the People's Climate Movement website.

There will be designated parking for buses at RFK Stadium, Lot 8. You can take public transit from there to the capitol, so be sure to buy your metrocard in advance here, or alternatively, you can walk 40 mins to the capitol following these directions

NYC People's Climate March in 2014. Photography by Elizabeth Stilwell via Flickr Creative Commons

IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT TO D.C. 

290 sister marches are expected to take place across the globe, including Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Dallas, and Portland. Find out where your nearest sister march is here

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

The American Civil Liberties Union has compiled a Field Guide for demonstrations and protests that's available here. The ACLU has also developed a Mobile Justice app for on-the-ground-protestors, and those who witness instances of police brutality.

Law for Black Lives has an openly accessible Google Drive that compiles PDFs from the National Lawyers Guild, CUNY School of Law, and the Center for Constitutional Rights. This thorough information is available in English, Spanish, and Arabic.

Matador prepared a packing list for protesters including a first aid kit, goggles, and extra essential medication.

Check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation's tip-sheet, which outlines how to interact with law enforcement should they seek to inspect or confiscate your phone.

Color Lines put together a protest preparation guide (and tips for how to handle the event of your arrest) for people participating in anti-police brutality demonstrations over the summer.

MARCHING TIPS

Need to use the restroom or take a break? Designated businesses and organizations will be offering their locations as rest stops. Included in the list are William Penn House (which i-D editors used during the Women's March and highly recommend), Mr. Henry's Restaurant, and Fantom Comics. Check out a full map of rest stops available in the D.C. march here.

Need help making a sign? You can find free signs to print out here. For inspiration, look to this guide on how to create an aesthetically pleasing, memorable protest sign and here's a complete dropbox folder of anti-Trump protest signs available for you to download created by New York-based photographers Olivia and Brandon Locher

While backpacks are allowed, organizers advise marchers to avoid bringing large bags if possible.

Wear layers!

Do not bring marijuana. While it is legal to possess marijuana in D.C., it is illegal to possess the drug on federal grounds.

2014 People's Climate March in NYC. Photography by Stephen Melkiesethian via Flickr Creative Commons

For more information visit the People's Climate Movement website.

Credits


Text André-Naquian Wheeler
Photography Dhilung Kirat via Flickr Creative Commons