About 200 marches for Pittsburgh Sunrise strike for climate justice | News | Pittsburgh

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CP photo: Kimberly Rooney

Ilyas Khan (left) and Luna Plaza (right) lead a crowd of about 200 people from Oakland downtown.

Hundreds of people gathered in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh on September 24 at noon for the Pittsburgh Sunrise movement for climate justice to protest more action to fight climate change. Crowds marched from Oakland to the downtown City Council Building, reaching around 200 people.

The strike encouraged students and workers to quit their classes or work early in the afternoon. During the march and rallies, speakers highlighted the intersections of climate justice with other issues, such as struggles for racial justice, migrants and indigenous people, unions and housing for all.

Sunrise Movement Pittsburgh, a youth movement dedicated to stopping the climate crisis, has listed five demands for this strike, including youth representation in local climate decisions, a ban on fracking in Allegheny County, and tax large entities like UPMC and fossil fuel companies to finance green infrastructure. The organization also demanded the cessation of Line 3, an oil sands pipeline in Minnesota, and a just transition to 100% renewable energy and green jobs that pay a living wage.

“Whatever your political orientation, whatever your position on the climate, this conversation is for all of us,” said Ilyas Khan, organizer of the Sunrise Movement Pittsburgh, who skipped a biology quiz to attend the strike. “We are a country that has the power and the resources to make a real difference now and to help ourselves and help save the planet as a whole from potential ecological devastation.”

The strike began with land recognition for Indigenous peoples, including the Adena, Monongahela, Delaware, Shawnee, Seneca and Osage, before seven members of the Raging Grannies – a social justice group – performed songs about the fight against climate change. The crowd then moved up Bigelow Boulevard and turned to Fifth Avenue, slowing down to allow older members of the crowd to keep pace.

Khan and other organizers launched chants such as “1, 2, 3, 4, fossil fuels are upon us, 5, 6, 7, 8, Green New Deal in every state,” “Climate justice is indigenous justice ”and“ Give us a Green New Deal, climate change is real. ”The crowd stopped twice, at Robinson Street and in front of PPG Paints Arena. People rested, watched skits on how to react in interactions with police and sang with the Democratic Socialists of America and Pittsburgh Labor Choir member Edwin Everhart, who played guitar.

Click to enlarge Edwin Everhart leads the crowd in three songs in front of PPG Paints Arena - PR PHOTO: KIMBERLY ROONEY

CP photo: Kimberly Rooney

Edwin Everhart leads crowd in three songs outside PPG Paints Arena

“It was my first event, and it’s one of my biggest responsibilities to act on the basis of my knowledge,” says Vanshika Bhaiya, who studies architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. “This is one of the questions that excites me the most. I think it’s something that you have to integrate into your daily life, but especially for me, even in my future job.

The crowd reached the City County Building shortly after 2 p.m., where a dozen speakers shared their support for the Green New Deal and the importance of mutual aid and intersectional international efforts for climate justice.

“Climate is linked to just about everything,” says Maren Cooke, who is a leader of Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP), 350Pittsburgh and Pittsburghers Against Single-Use Plastics, among others. Cooke spoke about the link between climate and air quality, plastics and human health, and the importance of taking further action. “Civilization faces unprecedented challenges, but it is also a time of historic opportunity. Take it.

The strike ended with a reconnaissance of the closing lands and the handing over of the Sunrise movement to Pittsburgh scripts for calling representatives about Pennsylvania Bill 1555, which would create more consumption options for local and renewable electricity, and in Pennsylvania Senate Bill 435, which would contribute to the development of electric vehicle infrastructure.

“Demonstrating is not the end here. It’s a way to the end, where the end is climate justice, climate action, ”says Elise Silvestri, coordinator of the Sunrise Movement Pittsburgh. “The next thing to do from here is get organized.”

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