This November 6, on Global Day of Action for Climate Justice, hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in the streets of Europe and especially Glasgow as part of the COP26 Coalition. Here in Portland we held an event in solidarity. Our shared goal: putting pressure on world leaders at Glasgow to take the climate crisis seriously and to act for climate justice.
As we gathered at Waterfront Park near Saturday Market in the late afternoon, sweet music, honoring our beautiful earth, filled the air. Adults and children were grabbing signs or chalking messages on the pavement.
We were honored to host speakers, Roben White (Cheyenne/ Lakota heritage, enrolled Oglala member, and organizer for labor and Indigenous rights), Rabbi Ariel Stone (Congregation Shir Tikvah’s spiritual leader), Idil ( a member of the Hurriyah Collective) and others. We were joined at the very wet end by Liv Brumfield, a staffer for Congressman Earl Blumenauer, who had tasked her with collecting messages for him to take to Glasgow; we gave her an earful.
The speakers, including MC Diana Meisenhelter, spoke about going Beyond Glasgow. Asking and then answering the question: How do we build a sustaining climate justice movement powerful enough to get us where we need to be this decade? As they spoke, their meaningful, powerful, and hopeful messages were felt throughout the crowd.
Again music filled the air as we listened to our singer Wendy Emerson giving a lively rendition of her composition “Why Aren’t YOU a Rebel?”, and then sang together to honor our dear Earth.
After our inspiring speakers and songs, we were honored with the most Portland experience possible: a sudden, dramatic rainstorm as the twilight darkened. A couple dozen hardy folks huddled together under shelters for the Candlelight Reflection. It was small but lovely, each person sharing thoughts, in the middle of a storm. Be the conversation… in the middle of the storm… We can do this.