Written by Stefan Geller
Over 100 climate activists gathered in front of the State House on Friday to take part in the “People, Not Profit” climate strike with Fridays For Future Massachusetts, demanding Gov. Charlie Baker and the Boston City Council take urgent action to combat the intersecting crises of racism, economic and energy injustice, housing and climate changes.
The strike – cosponsored by BCAN, Boston University’s Environmental Student Organization (BU ESO), Extinction Rebellion Boston, Fairmount Indigo CDC Collaborative, H.E.R.O. Nurturing Center and 350 Massachusetts – joined countless others across the globe in support of Fridays For Future, the youth-led climate action group started by Greta Thunberg.
“Friday’s Climate Strike rally was one of the most moving I have been a part of. The multi-generational participation—with lots of young people, from high school through college and beyond—was simply thrilling,” said BCAN volunteer Terry Mason. “We inspire one another and we need one another, it was clear. Racial diversity among participants was also great to see. The speakers were, to a person, concrete and passionate and even spiritual. I actually welled up with tears at one point. I can’t say enough about how moving that afternoon was to me. It felt like a true community of souls.”
Atop their list of demands, activists called on the Boston City Council to include in its budget a line item to acquire green space infrastructure and reduce urban heat island effect in the city.
Activists also called on Baker and his administration to mitigate further climate change by pressuring ISO-New England, which manages New England’s power grid, to stop obstructing the transition to clean energy use.
“As a young person, being constantly told that our future is doomed can feel incredibly hopeless. However, I am honored to be fighting this fight alongside so many talented activists,” said Maya Nelson of the Boston Latin School Youth Climate Action Network. “The only option is to tackle climate change with everything we have, on a personal and systemic level, while making sure we listen to all impacted groups.”
The day after the climate strike, another 100+ climate activists held a rally along American Legion Highway to save Crane Ledge Woods by purchasing the 24-acre urban woodland and tree canopy bordered by Hyde Park, Mattapan and Roslindale.
“We are all connected. Anything that happens in one part of the world, or in our city impacts all of us,” said Jose Masso of the Crane Ledge Woods Coalition (CLWC). “Our decisions and actions regarding the climate will impact our children’s children and future generations. The time to act is now!”
The day after the Climate Strike, March 26, over 100 members and allies of the coalition to Save Crane Ledge Woods called for the city to purchase the 24-acre urban woodland and tree canopy bordered by Hyde Park, Mattapan and Roslindale. The spirited rally drew support from scores of honking cars along American Legion Highway. Full conservation of Crane Ledge Woods is a once-in-a- generation’s opportunity to preserve rich urban tree canopy and invaluable carbon sink for inland neighborhoods. Preserving urban trees is a critical part of mitigating climate change while promoting climate resilience and environmental justice. Contact Mayor Wu and your city councilor by email, telephone, and US mail. To join the fight, sign the CLWC petition now.