A week after millions of demonstrators took to the streets of the world’s major cities during the March for Science on April 22, thousands of Americans participated in the People’s Climate March on Saturday March 29, 2017. Considered by many to the “direct sequel” to the March for Science, the People’s Climate March narrowed its focus to the goal of establishing that climate change is indeed real and that it is the paramount threat facing all of mankind.
The first official People’s Climate March was held in 2014 and the movement has only gained momentum since. In cities such as San Francisco, Portland and Chicago protesters made signs and sang chants that took aim at the Trump administration and the construction of the Keystone Pipeline. The construction of the Keystone Pipeline incited national and global outrage last year when the pipeline was planned to pass through the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota. After months of intense demonstrations and violent altercations between North Dakota state police officers and the inhabitants of the Standing Rock reservation, former President Barack Obama signed federal protections guarding Standing Rock into effect during his last days in office. Since President Donald Trump has taken office, Obama’s protections on Standing Rock have been reversed and the struggle was reignited.
Signs from the People’s Climate March contained slogans such as Keep it in the Ground, Don’t Be Fossil-Fooled and of course There Is No Planet B.
In Denver, thousands of demonstrators marched in freezing temperatures and constructed snowmen with a ridiculing likeness to President Trump. The Los Angeles People’s Climate March brought about one of the largest gatherings of native American tribes on the west coast. In Washington, D.C. Academy-Award winning actor and recurring United Nations representative on climate change Leonardo DiCaprio was seen marching hand-in-hand (literally) with native Americans in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.
Whereas the March for Science was an initially non-partisan demonstration that later gravitated towards liberal politics, the People’s Climate Change was a political statement from the beginning as April 29 also marked President Trump’s 100th day in office. In that span of time, the President has not fulfilled many of his campaign promises and much of the legislation he facilitated has either backfired or been repealed in some way. With Trump’s Muslim travel ban and Affordable Care Act replacement plan both resulting in national outrage and logistical failures, demonstrators in Washington, D.C. chanted, “The resistance is here to stay–welcome to your 100th day!”
Demonstrators all across the nation also took aim at Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt in response to his joint efforts with Trump to deny any connection between the United States’ coal mining industry and global warming.
With a plethora of May Day demonstrations being planned out by various organizations of all types, it is likely that the People Climate’s March will has a “direct sequel” of its own.