Philadelphia joined cities throughout the nation in the People’s Climate March April 29, the 100th day of Donald Trump’s presidency, to rally against the administration’s environmental policies.
Around 1 p.m. 2,000 demonstrators marched along JFK Boulevard and then to Market Street, ending at the Market Street Bridge at 3 p.m., holding signs that denounced Trump and advocated for enhanced efforts to combat global warming.
“Basically, the point is for a lot of people to get together in this space and show resistance to the current administration’s offensive moves on the environment and poor communities” Jed Laucharoen, one of the event organizers, told Philly.com.
The event was hosted in part by Philly with Standing Rock, a group that actively opposes the Dakota Access Pipeline and supports the Standing Rock Sioux of North Dakota, who have been affected by the construction of the 1,172-mile pipeline that interferes with sacred cultural sites.
“This is a struggle beyond borders and across generations. We cannot wait a moment longer. We must rise and take action to defend the future of our communities and this planet that we all share,” Philly with Standing Rock posted on Facebook.
Jorge Rodriguez, a Drexel University junior studying economics and mathematics, was one of the demonstrators amongst the energized crowd.
“Climate change is a major threat to the future of humanity,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez also took advantage of the event to promote Drexel Socialists, an organization he is heavily involved with, he said.
“I wanted to reach out to some activists at the march to see if they were interested in coming to my sanctuary movement,” he explained, referring to a rally the group had on campus May 1.
Rodriguez said that overall, the event was a success. “I felt good after it, and I think they got a good amount of the media attention they wanted,” he said, though he pointed out that the march came to an abrupt ending.
“At the end of the march, the organizers said, ‘Alright, we’ll see you next year!’ and I was confused because it’s hard to affect major change with a single event each year,” he said.
The event was a sister march of the Climate March in Washington, D.C.
“We will march in solidarity with the Climate March in Washington to demonstrate our power and resistance,” the event’s website reads. “We will bring attention to the climate crisis and to the related problems that affect our communities. We will send our message to the White House and to our leaders in Congress and we will demand action.”
More than 370 marches occurred around the world, in opposition to the Trump administration’s environmental agenda. According to peoplesclimate.org, altogether over 300,000 people joined the various demonstrations.
It also followed last week’s “March for Science” in Philadelphia, where about 10,000 people marched from City Hall to Penn’s Landing to defend the role of science during the Trump administration.
“We’re here to say climate change matters,” said Trine Smith, one of the organizers of the Climate March. “This is a very serious matter.”