Issue #199

Participants in the People’s Climate March will use art and creativity to give expression to the myriad reasons why it’s important to take action on climate change. Here are six groups already preparing for the big day.

Kids Bloc

Children are the least responsible for climate change but will feel the most severe impacts if nothing is done to change course. At the Sept. 21 People’s Climate March, children ages 3–13 will bring their signs, messages and voices to the street — marching against climate change and its disastrous consequences as members of Kids Bloc alongside their adult caregivers.

In the run-up to the march, Kids Bloc organizers will be holding educational workshops about climate change. Each workshop will offer age-appropriate information about climate change and the opportunity for kids to make something to carry or wear at the march.

Workshops will be held on Sept. 6–7 at the Mayday Space and on Sept. 13–14 at a site to be determined. Workshop times on both weekends are 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm with workshops at 10am and 2pm geared toward children ages 3–7 and 12pm and 4pm aimed at ages 8–13. All workshops will be free of charge and last less than two hours. No need to attend more than one. For more information, contact Donna Oblongata at donna@whamcity.com or Patrick Costello at ptack.costello@gmail.com.

Workers Art Coalition

The Workers Art Coalition is a group made up primarily of rank-and-file tradespeople, many of whom are students at the Van Arsdale Center for Labor Studies and in the building trades, who collaborate on art and movement building projects with allied artists. Working out of the Mayday Space, they will be developing creative means to show what a green building future could look like. For more information, contact barrieallisoncline@gmail.com.

Boat Bloc

We all live downstream. That’s the message of the Seachange Flotilla, which will travel down the Hudson River from Troy, NY, to New York City over two weeks starting Aug. 30. Members of the flotilla will make the trip in papier mâché vessels they recently built (see photo caption below). Along the way, they will visit sites of current and planned fossil fuel infrastructure, as well as sustainability projects. For more, see seachange2014.tumblr.com. For ongoing coverage of the Seachange Flotilla’s journey down the Hudson River, follow indypendent.org.

Bike Bloc

Expect to see a large contingent of bicyclists at the People’s Climate March. In the run-up to the big event, members of the New York City Cargo Bike Collective are planning to build a couple of specially modified bikes. One of the them will be designed to pull around a platform for musicians to perform on. A second one will be a 30- to 50- foot long “caterpillar bike” with two sets of seats side by side from front to back. If you like to build or ride crazy, two-wheeled contraptions, see cargobikecollective.tumblr.com or call 347-762-4534.

Scientists Bloc

Scientists have warned of the perils of climate change for the past quarter-century with limited success, thanks to an oil industry-financed disinformation campaign. On Sept. 21, scientists will take to the streets in white lab coats to make their point once again. The Scientists Bloc is currently seeking hundreds of lab coats for the march. For more information, see sciencestands.org. If you are a scientist, science educator or science journalist who wants to sign up to join the Scientists Bloc, see bit.ly/scimarch.

Inflatables

Large inflatable objects are hard to ignore. Tools for Action plans to produce lots of them for the People’s Climate March and other spin-off protests. The group’s repertoire will include 6- to 20-foot-wide “carbon bubbles” that will be bounced in the air like giant beach balls to call attention to the actions of large banks and other financial industry players. They have bet so heavily on future profits from fossil fuel extraction projects that a transition to renewable energy sources could lead to the kind of economic meltdown last seen with the 2007-08 collapse of the housing bubble. The group will also make smaller carbon bubbles for members of the Scientists Bloc. Tools for action will host a workshop on how to make inflatables Aug. 23 from 12 to 6pm at Mayday Space. For more information, contact info@toolsforaction.net.

Many other climate arts-related initiatives are getting under way. For more, see peoplesclimatearts.tumblr.com. The next mass meeting of people doing artistic production for the climate march will be on August 21, at 7pm, and will be held at the Mayday Space at 214 Starr St. in Brooklyn.