Mass Marches Work

Free round-trip bus tickets from Holyoke to a September 21 climate march in New York City are available. President Obama and the leaders of other nations will be in New York City that day to try to come up with an agreement to reduce pollution. The march is being organized by the Service Employees International Union, the Sierra Club, and other organizations. More information about the march, including how to get bus tickets from the Valley, is at www.PeoplesClimate.org. The Sunday march starts at 11:30 a.m.

The free bus tickets are for poor people. Five dollar round-trip tickets from Holyoke are available to anyone.

Buses to the march will also leave from Amherst (tickets are $15 round-trip for poor people; $30 for anyone).

According to Rolling Stone magazine, with at least 20,000 people expected to attend, this will probably be the biggest march ever calling for action to stop climate change.

Mass marches preceded the end of slavery; the start of women's right to vote; and the passage of the first minimum wage law, the 40 hour workweek and overtime pay law, and workplace safety laws.

In June 1978, about 12,000 people attended a protest at Seabrook nuclear power plant in New Hampshire. In May 1979, in Washington, D.C., about 70,000 people attended a march and rally against nuclear power. In June 1979, about 15,000 people attended a rally at the Shoreham nuclear power plant in New York and about 38,000 people attended a protest rally at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in California.

In August 1979, in New York City, about 200,000 people attended a rally against nuclear power. In June 1980, about 15,000 people attended a protest against the San Onofre nuclear power plant in California.

When he was president, Richard Nixon said his goal was to have 1,000 nuclear power plants by the year 2000. There were 65 in 2000. There are now 61 nuclear power plants in the United States. When Vermont Yankee closes in December, there will be 60. An article in the June 2007 issue of the Journal of American History did not hesitate to give protesters credit for the decline of the nuclear power industry: "The protesters lost their battle [when Diablo Canyon opened in 1984], but in a sense they won the larger war, for nuclear plant construction ended across the country in 1986."

Nuclear power plants, cars, and coal power plants are major causes of climate change.

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