For the Change-Makers –
Here’s a blog I wrote for our friends over at 350.org’s Moving Planet. In case you don’t know, Moving Planet day was a global action that occurred this past Saturday. I had some reflections on how we took part – for more inspiring photos and stories, check out the Moving Planet website or their Facebook.
It was sometime during our parade, as the excited crowd of children was shouting their mantra – “WE ARE THE CHANGE MAKERS!” – as we marched, pranced, hula-hooped and danced through the festivals, as onlookers cheered and took pictures, that I was really struck by the power we possessed. By our movement. By our motion.
But it was only later, as I perused through the plethora of photos from events around the globe – from the tiny island nations that are the first affected by climate change to Copehnagen, to Vietnam, to D.C. – that it truly hit me, that I truly realized the magnitude of this. Our movement. Our motion.
On September 24th, the Roadshow was at a festival called Mother Earth News Fair – so named after the publication that puts it on. Though only in its second year, the festival is fantastically well attended, perhaps because Mother Earth News is the oldest environmental magazine still in circulation. 15,000 people paraded through the grounds over the course of the weekend and attended workshops and seminars on a diverse range of topics such as alternative energy, natural building, and herbs.
A large percentage of the people who visited the festival visited our area, as well, and a small portion of them took part in our parade on Saturday.
At first, I was a bit disheartened by the turnout for our parade. We were at least 30 strong – perhaps 40 or more – and it was undeniably a powerful sight. But compared to the crowds we marched through, ours was a very low number. It saddened me that despite our efforts, despite our coaxing and encouragement, so many people chose not to participate in this global occurrence, this (in my humble opinion) amazing opportunity. Were they really so apathetic? Did this metaphor of feet-stomping and earth-shaking mean nothing to them?
Then I looked through the photos. I saw the persistence of activists across the world – the small group of mostly older citizens in Moscow, marching resolutely with their Russian signs; the grandfather who walked with his grandchildren in Yemen, wanting to protect their future; the children in South Africa with their mouths agape and their signs demanding, “ARE YOU A FOSSIL FOOL?”; and the youngsters in my own notoriously conservative home state of Florida hoping for “renewable energy, sustainable peace” – and I realized.
I realized that this movement was so much bigger than us. I realized that that moment I had, during our parade, was the same feeling, at least on some level, that was shared by citizens of the world, across the world, on that very same day. I realized that the fact that we had done a parade at all was a beautiful thing. I realized that we were standing with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people in our commitment to, our desperation for, change.
I realized that we were that change.
So we marched, we danced, we pranced, we hula-hooped, we devil-sticked, we drummed and laughed and giggled and wailed, all through the grounds. Because if they weren’t going to join us, then we were going to join them, and regardless, we were going to rally. We were going to get behind this movement and push it forward, inch by inch, towards becoming a reality. It takes a village (or a transition town?), and this global grassroots movement is nothing but that – hundreds of thousands of villages, all laying aside differences and convening on one common issue: the ground which we share.
Remember that, change-makers. The fight is not over, nor is it anywhere near won. But it is being fought, every day, and in many ways, by people the world over. If you ever begin to doubt that, just look through the photos from September 24th, 2011 – you’ll be reminded very quickly.
Carry on, my global friends. You’re inspiring us all.