On Tuesday evening, San Diegans turned out en masse outside their city's federal building to resist President Donald Trump's policy of climate change denial, and to rally for a massive national mobilization to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions within a decade, revitalize the American economy with full employment, and restore a safe climate.
The event, organized by the San Diego chapter of The Climate Mobilization led by La Jolla couple Nancy and Derek Casady, was the latest in a groundswell of local demonstrations after Trump's election, reported the San Diego Union Tribune. Police estimated that about 500 people attended, while organizers estimated upwards of 1,000 — over 2,600 had RSVP'ed on the Facebook event page.
An energetic crowd gathered at 6pm to enjoy live music from the Swamp Critters and hear local speakers such as Ruben Arizmendi of Sierra Club San Diego, Diane Takvorian of the Environmental Health Coalition, Janina Moretti of SanDiego350, three third graders from Mt. Everest Academy, and representatives of the Native American community and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 569.
Keynote speaker Wesley Clark Jr., who helped organize military veterans to Standing Rock to support the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, repeatedly called on the crowd to go beyond attending rallies and join the broader Climate Mobilization movement:
“We have all the technology we need right now to solve this problem. What we lack is the political will to do it."
The Casadys organized the rally around the Pledge to Mobilize, encouraging signers to vote only for candidates who support a transformation of the American economy to 100% clean energy within a decade with an effort on the scale of the World War II home-front mobilization.
“This needs to build so that there’s an undeniable consensus that the government needs to take action,” Nancy Casady, 75, told the San Diego Union Tribune. “We want people to tell their friends and come to the next rally until we have 30,000 predictably in San Diego demanding the government respond.”
The Casadys have been organizing events under the banner of the San Diego Climate Mobilization Coalition for the past two years, drawing in dozens to hundreds of people at a time to rallies and marches. This latest rally comes after an uptick of interest in public political events after the presidential election in November, especially after the local Women’s March in January, which drew as many as 40,000 people to downtown San Diego, where the Casadys handed out fliers publicizing their event and found a highly receptive audience.
“Everybody in this town wants to have a march right now,” Derek Casady, 81, told the San Diego Union Tribune. “We’re organizing people who want to get the word out.”
Several hundred people so far in downtown San Diego at a rally calling for a massive investment in renewable energy. pic.twitter.com/46P1hGm22R— Joshua Emerson Smith (@jemersmith) February 22, 2017
Climate Change Rally San Diego pic.twitter.com/cEoMvwfQSX— Heidi L ✌🏻✌🏽✌🏾✌🏿 (@heidi_33diego) February 22, 2017
The organizers plan to follow up with a sister march to the People's Climate March in Washington, D.C., on April 29.
San Diego Union Tribune: Climate change activists build on anti-Trump fervor with San Diego rally
East County Magazine: Climate Mobilization rally energizes San Diegans