Marching Into the Future

image of an apparent island covered in evergreen trees, with lake water in the foreground and mountains in the background, on a sunny dayI was in the Cascade Mountains in Washington state in August. How lucky to be able to take a hike in the wilderness and leave behind the rush of daily life in New York City and the news of endless war and crisis after crisis somewhere in the world.

And yet when I asked a local about swimming in the wilderness lake he noted that the water was not as clear as it should be at that time of year. The glaciers are melting and more silt is coming into the lake than usual. The climate crisis crept into my thoughts during my “get away from it all” experience. The swim was great anyway.

This Sunday, September 21, I’ll be swimming with the masses at the Climate March here in New York City. War tax resisters and antiwar activists will bring our message of ending war and shifting spending priorities to an event that promises to bring together people with a wide range of messages, all of which interconnect with the climate and protecting life on earth. National War Tax Resistance is among a lo-o-o-o-ng list of partners for the march, and we’ll join War Resisters League (79th and Central Park West at 11 a.m.) with our signs and banners for the day.

Image of a hand holding a marble-sized earth, with text: "We only have one planet and it's being ruined by wars that destroy the environment, wreck lives, and waste resources, leading to ever more conflict. It's time to start putting our taxes toward the world we want. It's time to stop paying for weapons and arming soldiers." NWTRCC contact info follows.Within the NWTRCC/war tax resistance network discussion about outreach and getting ourselves and our information out to activists of all stripes, not just the peace movement, has been a priority for some years. Because climate issues are so critical now — and let’s face it, that’s where the action is — we’re working more on materials that make the connection between war, taxes, and environment protection. Some of our initial efforts and links to new outreach materials are on the Environment page on our website.

The tag line for this march is “This is an invitation to change everything.” While the march is timed to coincide with world leaders attending the climate summit at the UN (why is the march far from the UN?), the informational and promotional film Disruption emphasizes that the march is intended to launch a broader, bigger, and more powerful movement that decision-makers cannot ignore. The film discusses corporate greed, militarism, and an economic structure that helped create and continues the environmental crisis, mostly on the backs of the poorest.

In my dark and cynical moments I try to remember all the great organizing that is going on — against war, for livable wages, stopping domestic abuse, for immigrant rights, etc.  “There Is No Future in War: Youth Rise Up, a Manifesto” is another hopeful sign. Will the climate march change everything? Time will tell, but if it energizes a social change movement we won’t complain. We’ll be there trying to encourage more people to move their money from the war economy to repairing earth.

— Ruth Benn, NWTRCC Coordinator

One thought on “Marching Into the Future”

  1. Let’s work for a better America. Where all citizens share equally as our country raises itself in public opinion polls.

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