Activists Gear Up for Historic New York City Climate Change Protest on Sept. 21

Posted Sept. 3, 2014

MP3 Interview with Leslie Cagan, veteran peace and social justice organizer, conducted by Scott Harris


In February, climate change activist groups and Avaaz called for a protest march in New York City on Sunday, Sept. 21, just days before President Obama and other world leaders are scheduled to attend an emergency Climate Summit at the United Nations headquarters. Since the call went out, nearly 1,000 organizations around the world have signed on in support the People’s Climate March, forming a coalition that includes environmental groups, religious organizations and labor unions. As activists in New York demand the world’s political leaders go beyond rhetoric and commit to bold action to address climate change at the UN summit, simultaneous demonstrations are being organized around the globe.

Dozens of events including teach-ins, a Climate Change convergence conference and non-violent civil disobedience actions are being organized both before and after the People’s Climate March, which is expected to be the largest climate change protest in world history. The March, however, has drawn criticism from some activist groups for shunning a specific list of demands – and organizing a protest event with no speakers to articulate the action’s message.

Between The Line’s Scott Harris spoke with Leslie Cagan, a lifelong political activist who has organized some of the nation's largest political protests for the peace, anti-nuclear, civil rights, LGBT, feminist, Central American solidarity and anti-apartheid movements. Cagan, former national coordinator with United for Peace and Justice, the group which brought together hundreds of thousands of people for major anti-Iraq war protests before and after the 2003 U.S. invasion, now serves as one of the primary organizers of the Sept. 21 People's Climate March. Here, she talks about the goals of the march, and its importance to the global climate movement.

Find more information on the Climate March and dozens of related events by visiting

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