/Climate Protest Comes to Newark

Climate Protest Comes to Newark

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Katherine Ji

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On Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, the New Jersey Climate Coalition invites everyone to walk out of schools, out of jobs and out of homes to join in the North Jersey Climate Strike in Newark.

This week’s upcoming climate strike comes after a huge win in October, in which Governor Phil Murphy announced he would not endorse a proposal for a North Bergen power plant to be built in the Meadowlands. Murphy’s decision followed months of activism and protests. Environmentalists continue to demand New Jersey’s politicians to fight against the climate emergency and to value sustainability over corporate interests. 

What inspired this week’s protest was a proposal for a new power plant. NJ Transit, the state-owned public transportation system, just proposed a new fracked gas power plant. This power plant would tap into over $410 million from the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund and would release 571,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. What’s more, this power plant would be built along the Hackensack River in Kearny, NJ, meaning thousands of tons of emissions would be dumped into Kearny and its neighboring city, Newark, both of which already have poor air quality.

The Climate Coalition has four demands, the first two being clean air and clean energy. As part of these two demands, this climate strike aims to shut down the possibility of opening this new fracked gas power plant, and additionally, to effectively place a moratorium on all fossil-fuel projects moving forward in New Jersey. The coalition also demands movement towards renewable energy sources, efforts to reduce use of cars and fossil fuels in the transportation sector and to shut down the coal power plant in Newark, among others. 

The coalition’s third demand is clean water. Newark, which will still be experiencing a water crisis for years moving forward, inspired the Climate Coalition to take to Newark’s streets. The coalition plans to demand quicker implementation of water filtration systems, to demand testing across New Jersey’s schools and homes and to protect bodies of water, such as the Hudson and Pequannock River. 

The final demand is justice for all, incorporating the connection to climate justice. These efforts involve protecting underserved communities, refugees and immigrants in the face of climate change. 

Any and all students, workers and families are invited to join. Protestors are gathering at the Norman Samuels Plaza at Rutgers-Newark at 12 p.m., Dec. 6, for preparation of posters, chants and to vocalize instructions for the march. At 1 p.m., the group is marching through Newark to Newark Penn Station and then to Peter Francisco Park to rally at NJ Transit’s headquarters. Although not necessary, anyone joining can RSVP at www.bit.ly/njccrsvp.