Chesterton Tribune



NWI People's Climate March in Highland Saturday, April 29

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It is estimated there will be 50 million climate refugees within the next decade alone, multiple historic and record-breaking floods in South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Florida and elsewhere, and hundreds of U.S. cities will be in the path of rising sea levels.

Climate change. The thought of it can drive people to despair or denial as they struggle to wrap their heads around such a huge and complicated issue.

On Saturday, April 29, thousands of environmental advocates and activists will descend on Washington, D.C., for the People's Climate March to raise awareness about the effects of the climate crisis on families across America and around the globe.

Here at home, the People's Climate March at Main Square Park in Highland will have a festival-like atmosphere with a rally planned to educate and entertain, with children's activities, speakers, musicians, and more. Several local environmental and other community organizations will host booths where rally-goers can meet local advocates and talk about local issues.

“It's a fun way for people to come out and learn about protecting our environment and some simple changes everyone can make in their lifestyles that can have a big impact,” said event organizer Heather Leddy.

Leddy, a mother of four and nursing student, first became involved in the Northwest Indiana event because “I couldn’t sit idly by while state and federal legislators vote against clean energy and for deregulation of industries that only create bigger problems like we see in Flint and East Chicago.

“What excites me most,” she said, “is the people I talk to who haven’t been active in the environmental movement who want to learn more about what they see already happening all around them. I would like this event to spark interest in people, to get active in demanding politicians put people’s need for a clean environment before corporate profits.”

Organizing partner Alex Baz‡n, an energy efficiency consultant who also assists with green business development in Detroit, shares Leddy’s passion and enthusiasm. “This rally is just the beginning,” he said. “This movement will continue far beyond the event itself. This is about justice and doing the right thing,” Baz‡n said. “It’s about people’s right to have access to safe drinking water, which many of our communities are just now learning they don't have.

“It's about preserving and protecting our Great Lakes. It’s also about our economy,” he added. “The Region continues to face a shrinking middle class, diminishing manufacturing and blue collar jobs, and a decreasing tax base, all while being one of the most polluted areas in the country. It’s all linked together and showing those connections is a big piece of what the 29th is about, too.”

According to the People's Climate March website, the current People's Climate Movement began with its historic September 14, 2014, People's Climate March on the eve of the UN Climate Summit.

“As heads of state from around the world gathered, 400,000 people from every walk of life marched through the streets of New York City demanding bold and urgent action on the global climate crisis,” the site states. Since then, the People's Climate Movement has continued to work at the local level, educating people on the realities of climate change, and advocating for environmentally sound legislation.

If you go

The People's Climate March Rally will be held on April 29, 2017 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., at Main Square Park, 3000 Highway Avenue, in Highland.

Admission is free but organizers will be accepting donations of jugs of potable water, NSF-53 water filters, and monetary donations to aid East Chicago residents affected by the lead contamination crisis.

For information on the People’s Climate March visit Northwest Indiana’s Facebook event or the People's Climate March website

To reserve a booth space, contact Heather Leddy or Alex Bazan through the Facebook event.


Posted 4/18/2017




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