One week after the rainy day success that was the first ever Science March in Washington DC, I returned to the nations capitol for a similar themed event – the People’s Climate March. Attended by dozens of organizations from around the country the march saw over 200,000 people take to the streets just in DC alone. At the same time hundreds of sister events happened in nearly all 50 states.
Much like the last Climate March I covered in NYC and the March for Science the week before, the attendees’ creativity was on show. While there were many mass produced signs (some with amazing design – call out to #GreenLatinos) the homemade signs really made the day.
These two awesome kids (whose father couldn’t have been prouder of) made these awesome grumpy cat signs. Sophia and Caroline were concerned about global warming – as both penguins and polar bears need the ice for survival.
The creative signs weren’t the only protest art at the march. An activist favorite, papier-mâché, also received a lot of attention. This extensive piece represents “FERC” and it’s missing board members.
Ellen Barfield was one of the first of many marchers that I spoke to about why they were there. She was trying to raise awareness of a government entity called FERC.
“FERC is officially the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – however it’s more accurately called the Federal Energy Rubber Stamping Commission because in 30 years FERC has disproved exactly one fossil fuel infrastructure project…”
You can find out more info from Beyond Extreme Energy – a group that fights against pipelines, and fracking whose slogan is “No new permits for fossil fuel infrastructure. Renewable energy NOW.”
Last week saw scientists take to the streets in great numbers, but it didn’t mean they were done marching. One such scientist, Al Hewitt, who actually is an expert in the field of climate change, told me he was worried. “All the work I’ve done has been kinda wiped out by this Trump administration and I’m really concerned about my children, grandchildren and grand children’s children.” He continued laying the blame on, not just Trump: “The [climate change denialism] extremism is pervasive throughout the Republican Party.”
The 2017 Climate March ended with a short sit-in in front of the White House. In the Spring heat (90 degrees already) thousands of people sat down, beating their chests to the rhythm of a heart. Once the organizers told them to stand they let out a mighty cheer.
Trump didn’t hear it unfortunately, as he was on his way to Harrisburg Pennsylvania for yet another weekend victory rally. He took the opportunity to once again attack the press who were at the White House Correspondents Dinner saying, “A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation’s capital right now.”
Trump spent his 100th day attacking those who criticized him – hundreds of thousands of citizens spent it together in the streets to send a message back to him. It was one of solidarity and care for the planet that both billionaires and the rest of us share.