Thousands Attend Global Citizen Earth Day Rally on the National Mall

by LINDSEY FEINGOLD

Thousands traveled to the National Mall on April 18 for a rally to stress the importance of climate change and global poverty.

“The rally is timed to coincide with both the 45th anniversary of Earth Day and the spring meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund,” according to the Washington Post.

More than 250,000 people traveled into the nation’s capital to attend the event.

Crowd sitting on the National Mall looking toward the stage at Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day.
Crowd sitting on the National Mall looking toward the stage at Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day. (Jasmine Pelaez/Pulsefeedz)
Courtesy of One.org
Courtesy of One.org

What brought hoards of people to go outside and join in on the rally were the musical acts set to perform. The headliners included My Morning Jacket, Train, Fall Out Boy, No Doubt, Mary J. Blige and Usher. Other musical guests included Common, D’Banj and Fally Ipupa.

Perhaps the most popular performer of the day was Usher.  despite being on crutches, Usher stood tall delivering his thoughts on how to end poverty.

“To end poverty, it starts, in my opinion, with an education about it,” Usher told the crowd, urging them to explore the issue further.

Usher’s words were then followed with action when he gave one of his gold colored crutches to a lucky fan.

Destiny Riffle, a 14-year-old from Annapolis, traveled all the way to the District just to see Fall Out Boy perform. “It was awesome,” she said. “I think the concert should happen every year because it helps reduce Ebola and other global issues,”

However, not only bands and musicians took the stage for the rally. Other influential people gave speeches on poverty and climate as well. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, American actor Don Cheadle, First Lady of Malawi Gertrude Mutharika, Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin and Indian actress Freida Pinto. Many Global Citizen Ambassadors and even a few members of Congress also joined in on the rally.

Chris Martin, singer for Coldplay, giving a speech on global citizenship (Bridget Pacheco/UMD)
Chris Martin, singer for Coldplay, giving a speech on global citizenship (Bridget Pacheco/UMD)

The speakers talked about a wide array of global issues, from how to help end Ebola, how to end poverty, fix the climate change and how to donate to fix sanitation systems in various third world countries. Besides these speakers who attended the concert in person, there were videos of Congress officials such as Nita Lowey (D-NY) urging the population to take action.

This event was hosted by will.i.am. and Soledad O’Brian.

Throughout the event the two hosts gave their opinions on the topic of global change. Will.i.am. stated, “Talk about solutions, go online, dig deep and hold our leaders accountable for some of the things that they’re pledging.”

Courtesy of Townhall.com
Courtesy of Townhall.com

This event was powered entirely by clean energy; however, the irony is that after the concert the National Mall was trashed.