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Local rally one voice in chorus of protest

By Anne Lindberg
Published April 11, 2007


Saturday will be a big day for environmental activists and others concerned about global warming. That's the day thousands will hold simultaneous rallies across the United States to encourage Congress to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent over the next 33 years.

More than 1,300 rallies are scheduled, earning the billing as the "largest day of citizen action focusing on global warming in our nation's history." A Pinellas Park event is one of 30 rallies scheduled for Florida.

The city and the Sam's Club sustainability team are co-sponsoring the Pinellas Park rally.

"I'm real excited about it," said Rachel Holland, a co-captain of the Sam's Club team and the driving force behind the rally.

She decided to try putting on the rally after hearing about the Step It Up 2007 campaign.

The Step It Up campaign, also called a National Day of Climate Action, was begun in Vermont by environmentalist Bill McKibben and six other activists who believe that climate change is the biggest threat facing civilization.

Rather than march on Washington, D.C., the Step It Up group chose to have rallies across the country. Pictures will be taken at all the rallies and forwarded to Congress as a show of support.

The Pinellas Park rally will go a bit further, Holland said. Cloth squares will be available for children to paint or draw on to show what the Earth means to them. The squares then will be sewn together into a quilt and sent to Congress.

Pinellas Park Vice Mayor Sandy Bradbury and Susan Glickman of the National Resource Defense Council will speak during the two-hour event. Information about global warming and ways to combat it also will be available.

When Holland approached the city, officials were glad to help sponsor the event.

"It's a good, worthwhile event, something we should all be aware of," Pinellas Park spokesman Tim Caddell said. "It's something the city has always been a little ahead of the curve on. We were doing recycling before anyone else was doing recycling."

Coincidentally, three groups already had decided to hold yard sales at the park Saturday. The groups agreed to move east on the field to make room for the rally.

"I think they're actually hoping that it will bring some more people out," Caddell said. "Or maybe some yard sale people will learn something while they are there."

Fast Facts:


If you're interested

The Pinellas Park Police Department, Vincent House and Richard Sanders School will have yard sales at Town Square Plaza Park, 5121 80th Terrace N, at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Step It Up Tampa Bay will hold its National Day of Climate Action at the park from noon to 2 p.m.

For information, call Tim Caddell, 541-0721 or go to


[Last modified April 11, 2007, 08:51:22]

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