For months there had been a steady drumbeat of invitations to participate in Bill McKibbin's latest march on the climate change issue. The story was that the United Nations was going to have a global climate summit the following week, and we could set the tone for the event with a huge presence in the streets. For a while I was seeing invitations to go to New York. I just couldn't see myself having that huge a carbon footprint experience to fight climate change. I was happy when I heard about the local sympathy rally by Oakland's Lake Merritt.


I started going up there early. The previous day must have been news event free, because the front page news was that Gwen Minor had spent 12 hours in a tree to save it from the axe.

The first other person I met with a sign was this woman. She didn't know the way to the rally start and neither did I. Usually for me that's not a problem, but this time I was so early there was no crowd to follow. We figured it out though, getting there before the big crowds, but long after the setup crew had gone to work.

It was a perfect time to talk to the various people tabling for causes they care about.


The guy from COTAP was a new face for me. His idea is to raise money here and use it to pay people in impoverished places to do things to protect the ecosystem. Sounded like a startup in early days.

I knew Ruben and Shoup as Alameda County Green Party activists. It seems like they aren't flying that banner any more, despite still being in the struggle for a better future. Ruben had returned to his labor roots. He's also still fighting against the top two primary in the courts. Shoup was calling himself "an ecosocialist". So their hearts are still with the ecosystem, but it's not looking like the crumbs the system gives the name of a political party are enough to make either of them table with a Green Party banner.




I told the guy with the red sign that I liked it. He showed me the Brazilian patch on his coat that had inspired it.

The stage was occupied by a variety of interesting and thoughtful community groups. I think this one was a radical labor chorus. The songs they sang used traditional sing along tunes with lyrics about how we need to cut fossil fuel consumption and honor human rights and women.

By this time big clumps of people were showing up.







I didn't notice the ever (as in forever) in everything until I looked at the colors on that sign. Nor the "STEAL MY HEART" on the shirt under the "lets take care of our planet!" I was too busy breezing through the crowd getting as many of the creative and thoughtful images as possible. There was so much fascinating work around...

















Laura Wells wearing no green? It startled me that most of the green in the picture was ink on her friends shirt.






























At this point I joined a march around Lake Merit. It wasn't much, maybe a dozen people talking about the issues involved with our fossil fuel addiction and whatever else helped the miles melt away.


By the time we got back to the start the event was clearly over. Cleanup was in process. It was time to move on.

A couple of days later this image floated across my facebook wall. We didn't have that kind of numbers, but I don't remember many marches that size that had that many interesting and thoughtful signs. I hope you enjoyed reading down the page as much as I enjoyed putting it together! Thanks for getting here.