The Global Climate Convergence with its more than one hundred workshops, its large plenary sessions, and its miles-long mass march of more than 300,000 people, the largest climate protest in American history, represents a turning point for the environmental movement. The gigantic and passionate parade of indigenous people, ethnic groups of all sorts from everywhere in the country, students by the tens of thousands, neighborhood organizations by the dozen, several major national labor unions, and every conceivable sort of ecological cause tramping through New York City carrying huge banners and giant puppets, striding and dancing to the tunes of 29 marching bands, put the issue of the environment and climate change on the national agenda as never before. The national climate movement has arrived—now what will it do?
In his June article in Rolling Stone calling on people to participate in the Climate March, 350.org leader Bill McKibben notably calls for “changing the system that’s powering our destruction”. But the “system” he’s talking about changing is not capitalism itself. As important as the march will be, it will not provide a space for the articulation of radical, anti-capitalist perspectives on the environmental crisis. To complement the march and provide such a space, System Change not Climate Change and the Global Climate Convergence coalition are partnering to organize the NYC Climate Convergence: People, Planet, and Peace over Profit, to take place on the evening of Friday, September 19 and all day Saturday, September 20.