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400,000 Protesters Descend on NYC to Demand Climate Change Action — Millions Join Worldwide.

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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Vice President Al Gore, and movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Edward Norton all attended

“They can make things run just by the wind,” said 9-year-old Danny Haemmerle, who dressed up as the yellow fruit to attend the march with his family. “And my parents don’t have to pay as much,” added his brother Eddie Haemmerle, 11, sporting a lime green wig.

The Haemmerles were joined by an estimated 400,000-strong crowd that flooded the streets of Manhattan to demand U.N. action on global warming — a showing that quadrupled expected attendance and made the march the largest climate protest in history and largest social demonstration of the past decade.

Timed to coincide with the U.N. summit on climate change, which meets this week to discuss an international carbon-emissions agreement, the demonstration was an international effort with 2,646 events in more than 150 countries, attended by hundreds of thousands more people.

Coalesced by several organizations, including Bill McKibben’s, the swarming crowds were there to pressure Obama and other leaders to make addressing climate change a top political priority. “Today, civil society acted at a scale that outdid even our own wildest expectations,” said May Boeve, executive director of, in a statement. “Tomorrow, we expect our political leaders to do the same.”

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made an appearance, along with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Vice President Al Gore, and movie stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Edward Norton. Nearly every labor union joined the march, including the Service Employees International Union, the largest union in the city. The march was supposed to start at 59th Street, but the throng of people stretched past 93rd Street, and there were so many marchers that it took the back of the line over two hours to start moving. The march was so well attended that organizers had to send a text at 5 p.m., asking marchers to leave because the route had filled to capacity.

This large climate-change demonstration in New York City reached a fever pitch, CBS New York reported.

“This is a little bit unusual,” organizer Rachel Schragis said. “I don’t think it’s ever been done at this scale before.”

The march comes ahead a U.N. summit on climate change, where more than 120 world leaders in New York for the annual U.N. General Assembly meeting will meet on the issue. President Obama is expected to speak at Tuesday’s summit.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was “excited to link arms” with the protesters Sunday, spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in an email to CBS News.

“It’s clear that climate change is no longer a problem for the future. We can no longer delay action – if we delay we will pay,” Dujarric said. “These marches show world leaders that people want action on climate change now.”

Schragis said artists aimed at turning the march into a visual spectacle, “making a pageant or parade.”

“You are not doing enough,” Schragis said of the message she wants to send to world leaders. “We demand bold, global action on climate change.”

“The debate is over,” Schragis said. “We see by the outpouring and the variety of people who are so excited about this march, people do care. They get it. They’re concerned, and they want to know what to do.”

[Source: TIME](

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“400,000 Protesters Descend on NYC to Demand Climate Change Action — Millions Join Worldwide.”