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Home » Local activists call for climate change action, peace on Earth Day

Local activists call for climate change action, peace on Earth Day

Local activists call for climate change action, peace on Earth Day

New Haveners demand their elected officials to cut military spending and invest in climate change solutions at the rally.

Outside of City Hall last Thursday, local activists and Mayor Justin Elicker offered remarks, performances and petitions advocating for action on climate change.

The New Haven Peace Commission started planning for Thursday’s Earth Day rally in December and held regular meetings to discuss logistics. The Commission pooled together a lineup of speakers including activists from the Sunrise Movement, Ice the Beef and the New Haven Climate Movement, among others. The final program also included an African dance performance, a poem from a student at New Haven Public Schools and a musical performance by a member of the Peace Commission.

Speakers focused on advancing climate change mitigation policies, as well as pressuring Connecticut’s Congressional delegation to defund the United States’ military.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars goes into the military for military weapons that go overseas, that do not focus on us,” said Johanyx Rodriguez, a senior at High School in the Community and the rally’s master of ceremonies. “And that money should be focused on how we can better help our country and how we can solve… climate change and a bunch of other local problems.”

In November, New Haven voters approved a ballot referendum asking Congress to transfer funds away from the US military budget to “prepare for health and climate crises.” The referendum garnered the support of 82 percent of New Haveners. Rodriguez told the News that the Earth Day rally was a “public expression” for the ballot referendum. Other speakers also expressed their support for the referendum and spoke about the link between climate change and militarism.

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