People’s Climate MarchEmily Nastase ·
After participating in the March for Science I was hesitant to join in on yet another march in the same week. The March for Science, while inspiring and exciting, was still a very cold, wet, and tiring day. But when I found out that my 86-year-old grandfather wanted to participate in the People’s Climate March, I couldn’t not go. The People’s Climate March marked the third march I’ve participated in in my lifetime, and the third march I’ve participated in in 2017. I suppose I have a few reasons to march this year.
It was Saturday, April 29 and it was hot. A whopping 91 degrees and very sunny in the nation’s capitol on march day. I don’t think it was a coincidence that the temperature was a record high on the day of the march. This fact actually seemed to energize the crowds -- some people even had signs that read, “90 degrees in April is why I march!!". But aside from the sweltering heat, it was a decent day to be in D.C. with a cause. The sun was shining and the streets were packed to their brims (and overflowing onto adjacent streets).
This march, which was purposefully planned to fall on Trump’s 100th day in office, attracted quite the crowd. The People’s Climate March is a periodical event, but the 2017 turnout was better than average. It was estimated that over 150,000 people participated in D.C., let alone the other thousands of participants world-wide. From my limited scope I saw parents, children, the elderly (my grandfather included), students, professionals, organizations, various cultural groups, and others. We all had a united reason to march.
The march was organized around the theme We resist, we build, we rise. The idea was to congregate (build) in front of the capital and organize into sections within the march for why you were there. My family and I marched in the “Future protectors” section, where grandparents marched for future generations, parents marched for their children, and children marched for a better quality of life. With three generations of my family present I think this was the most fitting place for us to march. Then we were to march on the White House (resist). And finally, we would collect at the Washington Monument (rise) where a post-march rally would commence. Unfortunately, because of the extreme heat that day, my gang had to bail out before we made it to the White House.
While generally amicable all around, much like the March for Science, the crowds got louder and more defiant as they approached the Old Post Pavilion (now another Trump Hotel). They shouted things like, “Dump Trump!” and even interestingly proved their opposition by not marching at certain intervals throughout the march course. There was a three-minute period where I watched from the sidelines (where there was shade for my grandfather) as the procession stopped abruptly and everyone on the avenue sat on the pavement.
All in all, I’d say it was a very successful march. The turnout was much better than I was hoping for, and the signs were really creative! My favorite sign, courtesy of Ben and Jerry’s, really hit the nail on the head for why we were all there. Another great sign was an illustration of a family under water wearing oxygen masks, with the children asking their dad, “Daddy, what did you do during the climate war?”.
It was truly inspiring to see so many people band together in times like these, and I’m sure this is just the beginning. Happy 100 days in office.