Recap: MAP Youth Attend D.C. Climate March
Author: Mariama McCoy, MAP Youth | Re-posted from GrowWNY.orgJune 12, 2017
Climate JUSTICE and YOUTH
Youth from Buffalo's Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) had the chance to go to D.C. for the People’s Climate March to represent agriculture and youth for they affect and are also affected by climate change. Although the trip began with an overnight bus ride with very uncomfortable seating and walking very far with suitcases, the youth were lucky to have found free accommodations at a local church. There they played Uno and Jenga while waiting to for the Youth Contingent to start. They attended the People’s Climate March Youth Contingent workshops to talk about topics that connect some youth to climate change issues at Standing Rock, including a chief’s son.
At the Youth Contingent, they participated in a skit that showed the power of action, starting with disempowerment and then putting in place changes that could empower youth. They learned that to fix our country’s economy we have to address underlying issues such as racism. They learned chants and songs for the day of the march, and obtained some free posters to march with. They heard speeches from several different organizations and leading people in climate social justice movement. After the workshops there was a dance party where the youth met teens from other organizations such as the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) fellowship in New York City, as well as the Young People’s Action Coalition.
The next day, the youth took public transportation and caught a ride on golf carts to meet the Sierra Club Niagara Group bus from Buffalo. Before the march even started, they saw a girl faint from heatstroke. During the march, people were selling water for $5 a bottle, but luckily the youth had already gotten water for only $1 a bottle. The march was a far walk in the heat, but the youth had the chance to yell chants into a bullhorn, things such as “water is life” alongside Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Youth Director of Earth Guardians.
Finally, they marched past Trump’s hotel and saw some awesome art work, including a life-size piece “Putin’s Puppet”. Together with thousands of people, they sat down in the street and all patted their hearts to make a heartbeat for 100 seconds for the first 100 days of Trump being in office. Their trip ended with a trolley ride to get lunch before boarding the Sierra Club buses and return to Buffalo.