On Friday afternoon, organizers of the round dance joined collaborative indigenous activism group It Takes Roots to paint a “red line” across the face of the District – figuratively, “to symbolize the multiple lines that must not be crossed by corporations and governments in the increasingly severe climate crisis,” and literally, a long line of people dressed in red clothes.
“It takes roots to weather the storm,” said a speaker, following a march down Independence Avenue and onto the middle of the National Mall on 3rd Street, where about 200 held the street for nearly an hour during song and dance with the Capitol in the backdrop.
The action was divided into five “blocks of struggle,” each representing a class of people impacted by systemic oppression and now finding itself at the forefront of a movement demanding climate action. Including “black struggle,” immigrant rights, and youth, each group put on a brief performance meant to capture and convey its struggle, and upcoming role in leading the People’s Climate March.
“It’s important to talk about the impact of Trump’s agenda on people and the planet,” said Cindy Wiesner, a coordinator with Grassroots Global Justice. “We believe in divestment from the militarization of the budget – we need a divestment from fear and hate, we need a divestment from the corporate greed that we’re seeing.”
Wiesner also attended the 2014 People’s Climate March in New York City, and said she noted a distinct sense of momentum in the three years leading up to its second installment tomorrow. “Our movement is moving,” she said, “we are growing, we are an unstoppable force of nature, we are seeing people come into the streets and stand with each other.”
Like the Thursday action, the “red line” march was a non-violent action resulting in no arrests or otherwise illegal activity. A group of about a dozen young Trump supporters touring the Mall briefly stopped and jeered at the march, chanting “build the wall,” and were booed by protesters before continuing on without incident.
Filmed by Alejandro Alvarez
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