Los Angeles Times
Climate policies protested around U.S.
Thousands brave diverse weather on Trump’s 100th day.
SEATTLE — Thousands of people across the U.S. marched in rain, snow and sweltering heat Saturday to demand action on climate change — mass protests that coincided with President Trump’s 100th day in office and took aim at his agenda for rolling back environmental protections.
At the marquee event, the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C., tens of thousands of demonstrators paraded down Pennsylvania Avenue on their way to encircle the White House as temperatures soared into the 90s.
Organizers said about 300 sister marches or rallies were being held around the country, including in Seattle, Boston and San Francisco. A wet spring snow fell in Denver, where several hundred activists posed in the shape of a giant thermometer for a photo and a dozen people rode stationary bikes to power the loudspeakers. In Chicago, a rainsoaked crowd of thousands headed from the city’s Federal Plaza to Trump Tower.
“We are here because there is no Planet B,” the Rev. Mariama WhiteHammond of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church told a Boston crowd.
The demonstrations came one week after supporters of science gathered in 600 cities around the globe, alarmed by political and public rejection of established research on topics including climate change and the safety of vaccines.
Participants Saturday said they objected to Trump’s rollback of restrictions on mining, oil drilling and greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants, among other things. Trump has called climate change a hoax, disputing the overwhelming consensus of scientists that the world is warming and that man-made carbon emissions are primarily to blame.
Among those attending the Chicago rally were members of the union representing Environmental Protection Agency employees. Trump has proposed cutting the EPA’s budget by almost one-third, eliminating more than 3,000 jobs.
John O’Grady, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Council 238, called the march “a chance to speak out in unity against this administration” and its “ridiculous gutting of the EPA budget and staffing.”
More than 2,000 people gathered at the Maine statehouse in Augusta. Speakers included a lobster fisherman, a solar company owner and members of the Penobscot Nation.
“I’ve seen firsthand the impacts of climate change to not only the Gulf of Maine, but also to our evolving fisheries, and to the coastal communities that depend upon them,” said lobster fisherman Richard Nelson of Friendship, Maine.
Saharlah Farah, a 16year-old immigrant from Somalia who lives in Portland, Maine, talked about how climate change could have a bigger toll on marginalized groups that have fewer financial resources. “But I see untapped power here today,” she said.
A protest stretched for several blocks in downtown Tampa, Fla., where marchers said they were concerned about the threat rising seas pose to the Gulf Coast city.
Handmade signs at Seattle’s march included the general — “Love life” — and the specific — “Don’t kill otters.”