Rutgers Students Attend Record Breaking Climate March

Rutgers University students participate in the People's Climate March in New York City

Rutgers University students participate in the People’s Climate March in New York City. Photo by Alexander Toke

A group of Rutgers students participated in what organizers are calling the “largest global call for climate action in history .”

More than 150 Rutgers University students and faculty attended the People’s Climate March in midtown Manhattan on Sept. 21 . Organizers hoped the event would encourage action to address climate change, specifically at the United Nations Climate Summit being held two days later in the same city. Holding signs featuring the Rutgers University Block “R,’ students marched along the Central Park West route with rally-goers from across the country and around the world.

A Facebook event page hosted by the Rutgers Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign was created in early August to invite those affiliated with the university to participate. Demonstrators were asked via the event’s website to assemble at Central Park West between 65th and 86th streets. The planned route followed Central Park West southbound, with an end location at 11th Avenue between 34th and 38th streets. According to the official event website, the People’s Climate March drew a crowd of nearly 400,000—surpassing an initial estimate of 310,000 attendees.

“It was really exciting,” said Larry McAllister, a Rutgers graduate student and university employee. “At first, we kind of made the mistake of calling it a parade, because you have that same kind of idea. You see these costumes and you see floats and signs. It kind of has that vibe.”

However, McAllister was quick to point out that the demonstrators were serious about their cause, despite the playful atmosphere.

“Once you got into it, everybody was so serious about wanting to see different aspects of climate change take hold and that was really interesting and kind of inspiring,” McAllister said.