At today’s press conference, organizers created a 10-foot-wide street mural using charcoal and California clay from areas of the state impacted by wildfires
SAN FRANCISCO – As wildfires continue devastating California, communities in the Bay Area held a press conference one month ahead of the Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice Mobilization on September 8th. The mobilization, expected to be the largest climate march ever on the west coast, will take place just days before Gov. Jerry Brown hosts the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.
Speakers included Miya Yoshitani, Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN); Kim Tavaglione, San Francisco Labor Council executive board; Rev. Ambrose Carroll, Senior Pastor at The Church by the Side of the Road; Alondra Aragon, a youth member of PODER; Desirae Harp with Indian People Organizing for Change and Raquel Guevara-Bolanos with North Bay Organizing Project, both of whom have been impacted by the northern California wildfires.
Organizers of the climate march shared new details about the upcoming event at the press conference. Starting at Embarcadero Plaza, the September 8th march will head southwest on Market Street and end at Civic Center. Surrounding Civic Center, organizers are planning to create the largest street mural of all time. At today’s press conference, a street mural capturing themes of the mobilization was drawn by artists using charcoal and other materials from areas impacted by California wildfires.
The September mobilization in San Francisco is part of an international day of action, with hundreds of events planned around the world. These events will demand urgent action to address climate change, and to reshape an economy that supports workers, people of color, and all communities facing climate impacts. In California, groups are urging Gov. Brown and those attending his summit to commit to phasing out fossil fuel extraction and begin a just transition to 100% renewable energy that centers racial and economic justice.
Across the country, communities from dozens of cities and states will be urging their elected officials to act on climate. Highlights across the U.S. include:
- On September 6 in New York City, people will gather in Battery Park to call on Governor Andrew Cuomo to fulfill his promises to move the State off fossil fuels through a just transition to 100% renewable energy, followed by a dozen distributed actions across the State happening around September 8.
- In Miami, Florida thousands will rally at a high profile concert to call attention to the impacts of hurricanes and sea level rise on the city’s communities.
- In Portland, Oregon a coalition fighting Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) in Jordan Cove will lift up frontline communities most impacted by fossil fuel extraction.
- In New Orleans, Louisiana advocates will focus their action on stopping the Bayou Bridge pipeline.
- In Tacoma, Washington communities will use arts and storytelling to show the intersections between those impacted by an LNG facility and those detained at the neighboring ICE detention facility.
Miya Yoshitani, executive director of Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN):
“This week, as the largest fires in state history rage around us, it is the 6 year anniversary of the Chevron refinery fire in Richmond that blanketed the city in a cloud of toxic smoke and sent 15,000 people to the hospital. We know that pollution from dirty oil and gas doesn’t just impact our neighborhoods, it threatens every neighborhood by destabilizing our climate and intensifying extreme weather. Real climate leadership means stopping climate change at its source and leading a just transition away from an economy based only on profit and pollution toward healthy, life-sustaining economies that benefit everyone.”
Alondra Aragon, youth member of PODER:
“California needs real climate leadership rooted in community solutions. Climate change doesn’t just contribute to pollution, but economic inequality, violence on our peoples, and forced migration from our homes and homelands. With the Urban Campesinx, PODER is building community-led solutions at Hummingbird Farm for cooperative stewardship of public lands to cool the planet and feed the people. On September 8th, I’m rising with migrants, working families, indigenous communities, and other young people to demand that elected leaders follow our lead because frontline communities are the real climate leaders.”
Rev. Ambrose Carroll, Church By The Side of The Road:
“When it comes to air pollution and climate change, low-income communities, communities of color, and other marginalized groups bear a disproportionate burden. Ignoring these truths and spurning our obligation to protect the most vulnerable among us is morally wrong. By dismantling protections like the clean car standards, the Trump administration is breaking faith with the faith community.”
Rudy Gonzalez, acting executive director of the San Francisco Labor Council:
“Like all of us, Union members need clean air, clean water, and a future for our children. We must demand a just transition and move as rapidly as possible to a system of renewable energy. The difficulties all working people face are made worse by the climate crisis. We are at a crossroads and we choose to go forward with our allies. Everyone needs a job with good pay and a union to defend their rights and working conditions.”
Raquel Guevara-Bolaños, North Bay Organizing Project:
“This march is going to be a space for those who care about the environment to show that there is a need for us to change the relationship we have with the environment because the one we have right now isn’t working. We need to work on addressing not only the small actions we can take, but how we are going to challenge corporations to do more than “go green”. Our actions must be reflective of our love for the environment. We must be bold.”
Desirae Harp, Indian People Organizing for Change:
“The changes we’re experiencing today are a direct effect of climate change. The fires in both northern and southern California, the depletion or disappearance of our salmon, the collapse of our aquifers, and the heating of our waterways are because we have distanced ourselves from the original teachings. California Indigenous traditional ecological knowledges are just as important today, if not more important, for directing the future of California. It is not just for us, but for everyone who lives in our territories now.”
Dan Howells, California State Director for Clean Water Action:
“While Trump drowns in alternative facts, climate change becomes more of a reality for all Californians. While government officials debate what to do, low-income communities of color suffer most. It’s time for less talk, more action.”
Linda Hutchins-Knowles, organizer with Mothers Out Front California:
“The need for bold climate action has never been more clear. The wildfires sweeping the state not only threaten the lives and homes of those in their path, but also the health and well-being of millions of Californians whose air quality is severely degraded by the smoke and ash. It’s time for California’s leaders, especially Governor Brown, to respond with strategies adequate to the challenge and accelerate the transition to 100% clean energy by immediately ending all permits for new oil and gas projects. We mothers understand that the health and safety of Californians—and a livable climate for our children—are on the line, and we will show up in force on September 8th—and on November 6th—to make our voices heard.”
Dani Heffernan, dani [at] 350.org, (305) 992-1544
David Turnbull, david [at] priceofoil.org, (202) 316-3499