On Sunday, February 17, 2013 around 40,000 people met at the Washington Monument in Washington, DC to urge our government to take action on the burning of fossil fuels that contributes to climate change, and to ask the president to stop the Keystone XL pipeline that would bring Canadian tar sands oil to the Texas gulf coast. The climate change rally and march was primarily sponsored by 350.org, the Sierra Club and the Hip-Hop Caucus, but participants came from many organizations, including several faith-based groups such as the Sojourners. I went to Washington on one of 11 buses that carried over 500 people from our area to the rally.
On the way back from DC in the bus, we each shared one word that characterized the day. Words like encouraging, energizing, active, informative, generational, diverse, communicative, transformational, historic, loud, creative, and fun floated up from the tired marchers. When I got back and I saw the pictures that I took in this album, one more word to characterize the day was quite evident to me—happy. In almost all of the pictures I took, people were smiling. They were smiling about a large group finally coming together to make our voices heard on climate change. They were smiling about the chants we sang such as “Hey Obama, we don’t want no climate drama” as we marched around the White house. They were smiling that old and young alike were of one mind that there is no “Planet B.” They were smiling at the creative ways that people expressed their concerns about our energy and environmental futures. They were smiling about the shared purpose and the knowledge that something important happened on this cold and blustery day in February when people raised their voices. It was a good day.