NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – “Climate justice is racial justice” was the message of a youth rally held at Pulaski Park in Northampton Sunday.

Led by the organization Sunrise Movement, activists from across Massachusetts gathered to rally for climate legislation justice that aligns with the Black Lives Matter movement.

“These issues are really intersectional,” said Cara Buchanan, an organizer of the event. “Without addressing the inequities that communities of color and black communities face, we cannot address the climate crisis.”

Demonstrators and speakers called on the public to help support the three State House bills addressing environmental justice, renewable energy, and putting a price on carbon.

One activist and organizer, Thomas Coulouras, said the climate crisis is disproportionately impacting black, indigenous, and people of color communities.

“Specifically black and people of color communities — they always breathe worse air than white communities with higher pollution levels,” said Coulouras. “And they are closer proximity to coal plants and hazardous waste. Additionally, they have higher chances of lead contained water and polluted water as a whole.”

One of the bills, if passed, will provide legal definitions that will allow the protection of communities from environmental racism and classism.

The Massachusetts State House will vote on these climate legislations on July 22.

For information on the environmental bills:

To support the movement on the action network, click here.