Behind a blue banner reading “ACT NOW,” more than 100 people marched through Boston Friday as part of an Earth Day demonstration to demand the state approve legislation banning fossil fuels.
The Boston chapter of Extinction Rebellion, a climate advocacy group, organized the late afternoon march from Copley Square to the State House. As they marched through the city, protesters chanted “Get up, get down, there’s a climate crisis in this town,” and “Hey, hey, ho, ho, fossil fuels have got to go” and “When sacred lands are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back.”
Along the way, they stopped in front of businesses dubbed “bad players” that benefit from fossil fuel industries. On Beacon Hill, they stood in front of the State House, calling on legislators to commit to net zero emissions by 2030, said James Comiskey, Extinction Rebellion organizer.
“We can’t really be celebrating Earth Day when there’s fossil fuel corruption happening, when the state is not doing what it is supposed to be doing to control all these institutions that are enabling fossil fuel infrastructure,” Cominskey said.
During speeches at the State House, demonstrators fell to the floor for a “die-in” to demonstrate the unfavorable outcome of the climate crisis and then got up to dance to Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” to highlight the need for action. It was a lively scene with cars honking in support as they passed by.
Cecily Miller, 61, of Cambridge, said the combination of street theater and music brings courage and hope in the climate crisis.
“When we come together with such a wonderful diversity of people of all different ages, different interests and have that feeling of solidarity and connection, it’s so powerful,” Miller added.
Evan Tao, 17, of Cambridge, said in a speech that Massachusetts currently has a government that does not represent the 90% of residents that support climate action when the governor has only committed to net zero emissions by 2050, which may be too late, he said.
“If you want your children to live in a better world, if you want to stop the ongoing oil apocalypse, if you think that fossil fuel divestment must happen today,” Tao said. “Here at the State House is where we can make a change.”
Madison Mercado can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.