The People’s Climate March: From Sea to Rising Sea Level. NorCal rally photo diary

by Sven Eberlein

reblogged from the Daily Kos

Impressions from Northern California People’s Climate Rally

Lake Merritt Amphitheater, Oakland, CA, September 21, 2014Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_20

Yes, there was the big climate march in New York, the one that everyone has been talking about, except the mainstream media.

It was a fantastic success, with 400,000 people flocking to a place that is both the pulsing heart of the world’s most wasteful nation as well as the nerve center of the world’s governing body, to shout it from the rooftops that a critical mass of earthlings are tired of seeing their home planet trashed right in front of their eyes.

But a good movement is like a human body or any other living organism: it can’t function with just a heart or a brain. If it is going to survive and thrive, there need to be a lot of other functioning organs or parts that can provide the kind of immunity and resilience required to make it long-term through a diverse and complex ecosystem.

Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_36

So to me, going to a rally 3000 miles west of the main march was like putting my finger on the movement’s wrist and checking its pulse. Should there be signs of vitality in such remote regions of this body, I knew that this uprising was meant for the long run.

I knew right away that this would be a good day when — walking in along the lake’s shore with my sweetie and an old friend — my buddy Bill from 350 Bay Area came paddling up beside us, giving us his personal assessment of the rally’s health.

Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_22

Meandering along the lake, we encountered beautiful hand-made banners and their designers. Getting these kinds of creative, sensitive, and intelligent statements was a clear sign that this organism was getting plenty of good oxygen.

Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_39

As we walked towards the stage, we were greeted by all kinds of diverse groups of happy people. You always know that your rally’s blood pressure is in great shape when you see lots of smiling Buddhists.

Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_07

Moving deeper into the crowd though, we spotted a disturbance.

Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_33

Every functioning organism needs germs to help build up its immune system. Before we knew what was happening, our collective organism had built up the perfect antibodies to deal with this virus, in the form of these two gentlemen from National Nurses United who attached themselves to the denier bug for the duration of the rally.

Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_35

We worked our way to the side of the stage, where Andrés Soto of Communities for a Better Environment was MC’ing the event. If Andrés, who has been one of the leading voices in the fight for climate justice and against the greedy polluters of Chevron, had decided to stay in California for the occasion, it meant that this was going to be a living breathing support system.

Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_15

Not just living and breathing, but also pedaling, as the power for the stage was provided by the lungs of this organism, Rock the Bike.

Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_17

As soon as a bike became available, my buddy Johnny got to pedaling, unsolicited, to keep the peoples’ mics from going silent. A functioning support system run by an interdependent web of participating denizens.

Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_19

Bonus vision points of front row creativity for pedalers!

Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_12

We walked around the back to get a view of the whole organism.

Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_08

Great to see so many fresh cells.

Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_27

It wouldn’t be human if there weren’t some bad habits. Then again, the revolution will definitely not be televised this time around.

Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_25

It was a truly self-aware organism, calling playful attention to how unwholesome the entire foundation upon which modern life has been built really is.

Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_28

It was an organism keeping its arteries unclogged and healthy…

Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_31

and its creative veins stimulated…

Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_37

In short, it was a well balanced weaving together of strands and connecting of dots. Small and local enough to be resilient and supportive of the whole, but large enough to make an impact and stand on its own.

And that’s important, because in the end, each other and our connection to this planetary organism we inhabit is all we’ve got.

Peoples-Climate-Rally-Oakland_32

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: