I stood next to the Willamette river on Sunday, shouldering all the strength of the sun. It was 90 degrees, nearly windless. I sought refuge in the shadows of my fellow protesters. Our eager eyes were turned toward the stage, where an hour’s worth of inspirational speakers–including native peoples, climate justice crusaders, interfaith leaders, moms, law students, even the governor of Oregon–spoke to us about environmental justice, about making our voices heard, about standing with the Earth, about preventing coal train terminals that are proposed throughout the Pacific Northwest; they talked about how immediate action is necessary, about how we should think of future generations, about how we can strengthen our economy and improve the environmental situation, about how we should put people and planet over profits. Then, with a bamboo-stick-sign hoisted above my head, I followed the cheering masses along the river path. We marched through the heat. The metallic smell of the dirty river wafted coolly over us every few minutes. We crossed the street and walked down the middle of the road. Cars honked at us angrily. But we continued on, the many thousands of us. We circled back to the park where we had begun. And I, for one, was very glad to have contributed my voice and my presence to the preservation of all that lives.