May 2014

The Great March for Climate Action Comes to New Mexico


Earl James


A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Lao Tzu


And so does a journey of 2,996 miles from Los Angeles, Calif., to Washington, D.C. On March 1, more than 1,000 human beings—just like you and me—made a decision to march out of L.A. with a goal of reaching the nation’s capital on Nov. 1, calling all along the way for U.S. action on the climate crisis. Fall congressional elections can’t duck this Great March.


Approximately 40 people signed up for the entire eight-month march, braving heat, rain and cold, all to bring attention to the desperate need for our nation to take strong, meaningful action to cut carbon emissions—especially fossil fuel—before runaway global warming leaves civilization in the dust, or mud, or ice, or at the mercy of megatyphoons and extreme drought and fire—not to mention the Earth’s nonhuman pollinators, composters, scavengers, water purifiers, medicinal healers and touchstones of our spiritual gratitude for the wonder of biodiversity.


One cross-country marcher blogged: We represent 36 states, seven countries, and a multitude of human backgrounds. We are students, grandparents, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and friends who have sacrificed more than eight months of our lives in order to march for those who may not be able to, for the most important moral issue of our generation: the Climate Crisis.


The marchers entered New Mexico on April 28 at Zuni Pueblo, and they will depart our state on May 29, averaging 15 miles per day. Along the way, they take part in rallies and house parties and visit schools to talk about the climate emergency and why they are marching.


  • On April 28, Zuni Pueblo dancers greeted the marchers, and the pueblo provided a campsite.
  • On May 5, marchers will enter Albuquerque: Watch for announcements of gatherings to challenge the coal, gas and nuclear habit.
  • On May 17, in Santa Fe, at 10:30 am, join the procession from Aspen Community Magnet School to the Farmers’ Market; mix with the Green Chamber of Commerce Green Festival; and join a rally at 11 am.
  • At 4 p.m., at Fort Marcy Park, the Great March will host youth events with Global Warming Express. Following a blessing by Picurís Pueblo Gov. Richard Mermejo, you can help build a “Life Cairn” to memorialize species gone extinct due to human activity, raise alerts about critically endangered species, human cultures and island nations. You can then gather around a digital campfire for an evening with Climate Marchers and Native American storytellers.


  • On May 18, in Santa Fe, the March kicks off the Fossil Free Film Festival on Sunday, at noon, at the Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA), followed by a panel discussion with the Climate Marchers.
  • On May 24, a welcoming procession will bring the marchers into Taos.


Coincidentally, May 17 is also the Sierra Club’s National Reject and Protect Day of Action against the Keystone XL pipeline.


For more event information: www.climatemarch/


The Great March for Climate Action is already having an impact on New Mexico, as dozens of New Mexico communities and organizations come together to provide food, a home-stay, fresh water, friendship and funding. Support a marcher at:


Great March supporters include Laguna Pueblo, Acoma Pueblo, Zuni Pueblo, Cochiti Pueblo, Kewa Pueblo, Picurís Pueblo, Río Grande Sierra Club, Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment, New Energy Economy, Amigos Bravos, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos city officials, Consolidated Solar Technologies, Littleglobe, Santa Fe Community College’s Sustainability Program, New Mexico Committee for the Humanities, Albuquerque’s International Balloon Museum and Park, and many others.


Ahni Rocheleau, New Mexico state coordinator for the Great March says, “The marchers are giving the great gift of walking across the country for those of us who cannot make the commitment. If you join the march in New Mexico, you can shift our sunny state from its current and pending demand for more coal, gas and nuclear toward a path as a world leader in renewable sources of energy.” Want to help make the New Mexico march a historic event? Sign up to march at To collaborate, contact Ahni at



Earl James is an environmental activist, writer, nonprofit fundraiser, and directs The Life Cairn Project:,





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