MORRISTOWN, NJ - Under sunny skies, a large group of demonstrators rallied outside the Morristown Town Hall today to demand action on climate change. The group in Morristown was one of more that 800 marches planned for today throughout the United States. The rally comes three days before the United Nations Climate Summit.
Community members carried signs reading "Denial is Not The Answer" and "We Demand Action", while chanting "Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Climate Change Has Got To Go".
Rally leaders spoke about climate change and the demands needed to bring forth change.
"Today, millions of us of all ages and over 130 countries around the world walked out of our schools, homes and workplaces in solidarity with the youth climate strike, to show our leaders that we are demanding immediate action on climate change", said Sam DiFalco, a climate change organizer. "
"For too long our elected leaders have turned their backs on us in favor of fossil fuel money and have deliberately left the most vulnerable among us to face the consequences of pollution, toxic waste and our rapidly warming planet", she said.
Organizers believe that the state of New Jersey has the opportunity to be one of the America's leaders in the face of climate change.
"We have the ability to enact a green new deal and transform our state into a green economy where everyone has a right to a good job and a safe and healthy environment in which to live and grow", said DiFalco.
But some New Jersey residents are facing environmental hardships. According to DiFalco, 352,000 people in New Jersey are at risk of flooding due to rising seas and 11 New Jersey counties have been given F ratings for air quality.
"If we continue down this road, things will only get worse", DiFalco told the crowd. "We are standing united and refusing to back down"
The demands issued by the organizers are:
- A new green deal
- A halt to any and all fossil fuel infrastructure projects
- All decisions made by the government must be tied into scientific research
- A declaration of a national emergency on climate change
- Comprehensive education on the impacts of climate change and the importance of climate justice throughout grades K-8
- A preservation of public lands and wildlife
- Protections to ensure clean water access to everyone
"The fight for climate justice is a fight for justice for everyone", concluded DiFalco. "We know that we must show up in lasting solidarity with one another to fight against climate change and to fight for a collective, more just future".