Thousands gather in D.C. heat for People's Climate March

By Daniel Uria   |   Updated April 29, 2017 at 5:23 PM
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April 29 (UPI) -- Thousands of people marched in Washington D.C. on Saturday afternoon in support of political action to combat climate change.

The People's Climate Movement said 150,000 people attended the People's Climate March on the White House as up to 375 sister marches took place throughout the United States and around the world coinciding with President Donald Trump's 100th day in office.

"We're blown away by the numbers," Paul Getsos, the Peoples Climate Movement National Coordinator said. "We like to say 'to change everything, we need everyone' and everyone is showing up. This movement for climate, jobs and justice will only grow stronger."

The march began at 12:30 p.m. as demonstrators gathered in the 90 degree heat near the Capitol with plans to march past the White House on the way to the Washington Monument.

During the first 100 days of Trump's presidency the Environmental Protection Agency has faced proposed budget cuts and rollbacks of Obama administration policies on fossil fuels and other climate friendly regulations.

While the government's actions inspired many in the crowd, Getsos said the organization, which held its first march in 2014, had this march planned before Trump's victory.

"This march was planned before the election as a strategic moment to continue to build power to move our leaders to act on climate while creating family-sustaining jobs, investing in frontline and indigenous communities and protecting workers who will be impacted by the transition to a new clean and renewable energy economy," he said.

Unlike last week's March for Science only one out of eight groups participating in the march featured scientific researchers, instead drawing groups of labor activists and indigenous people.

Celebrities also joined the march, including actor Leonardo DiCaprio who marched with an indigenous rights group and held a sign that read, "Climate change is real."

The People's Climate Movement hopes the march can assist in overturning legislature that prioritizes economic growth over environmental concerns.

"We've already seen just how effective people power is against this administration: Trumpcare? Withdrawn. Muslim ban? Blocked," the group's website states. "Now Trump's entire fossil fuel agenda is next, and we believe that the path forward is based in the voice of the people -- which is expressed first and foremost through mass protests and mass marches."

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