This Day in History

Sept. 21, 2014: The People’s Climate March

Time Periods: 2001-
Themes: Environment, Climate Justice, Organizing, World History/Global Studies

Hundreds of thousands of people across 150 countries participated in protests on September 21, 2014, in an action collectively called “the People’s Climate March.” The New York action, a march of 400,000 people, was the largest environmental protest in history.

Protesters in New York.

Protesters in New York. Source: Craig Ruttle/AP

Amy Goodman with Democracy Now! reported:

With a turnout far exceeding expectations, the streets of midtown Manhattan were filled with environmentalists, politicians, musicians, students, farmers, celebrities, nurses and labor activists — all united in their demand for urgent action on climate change. Organizers arranged the People’s Climate March into different contingents reflecting the movement’s diversity, with indigenous groups in the lead. Read more.

The People’s Climate March coincided with the United Nations Climate Summit in preparation for a December U.N. conference in Lima, Peru. Activists were expecting “stacked actions for days, including the NYC Climate Convergence, the People’s Climate March, Flood Wall Street, EcoCon, a fan convention for the NBC-initiative Green Week, the People’s Climate Summit and many ongoing direct actions to stop resource extraction at the point of conflict,” according to participant Cory Stephens. Read his full account in this essay.

Watch a video below featuring Democracy Now! producers Aaron Maté and Elizabeth Press, who were in the streets to hear from some of the demonstrators taking part in the historic protest.

This event is included on the Zinn Education Project’s Climate Crisis Timeline.