Mairead Maguire, noted human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner has endorsed the Great March for Climate Action. “When governments fail to do what is possible to protect the very livability of a territory, its ability to produce food and provide shelter, climate change becomes a human rights issue as well,” Maguire said in a statement.
Maguire’s most notable work has been towards a peaceful resolution to the violence in Northern Ireland. She helped found Peace People, an influential movement towards re-education instead of violence. Because of her efforts towards non-violence, Maguire won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize at age 33, which made her the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner of all time (a record which was only recently surpassed).
“Mairead Maguire’s endorsement propels the Climate March from an American movement to a global platform,” said Des Moines musician Ben Allaway, who knows Maguire through their work together on one of Allaway’s compositions, Heaven and Earth: Mass on the Celtic Journey. “I was really struck with Maguire’s view of climate change as a human rights issue,” continued Allaway. “Governments can turn things around on this issue, and if they don’t, it feels to me like a human rights violation.”
The purpose of the Great March for Climate Action is to inspire and motivate the general public and elected officials to act now to address the climate crisis. Leaving Los Angeles, CA on March 1, 2014, marchers will walk 14-15 miles per day and camp nearly every night. After 3,000 miles on foot, the March will conclude in Washington, D.C. on November, 1, 2014. Rallies will be held in cities along the March route and new technologies will be demonstrated to show ways to combat the climate crisis.
Maguire’s endorsement joins a long list of activists, politicians, and organizations that have pledged their support to the Climate March, including environmental activist Bill McKibben, actor Ed Begley, Jr., Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), author and activist Jim Hightower and organizations including Natural Resources Defense Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Citizens Climate Lobby and 350.org.
“I offer support and endorsement for the Great March for Climate Action, to encourage both citizens and government officials to take action to protect the environment,” Maguire said.