SEATTLE — Thousands of people across the U.S. marched Saturday on President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office to demand action on climate change.
At the marquee event, the Peoples Climate March in Washington, D.C., tens of thousands of demonstrators made their way down Pennsylvania Avenue in sweltering heat on their way to encircle the White House.
Organizers said about 300 sister marches or rallies were being held around the country, including in Seattle, Boston and San Francisco. In Chicago, marchers headed from the city’s federal plaza to Trump Tower.
“We are here because there is no Planet B,” the Rev. Mariama White-Hammond of Bethel AME Church told the crowd in Boston.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says climate marches taking place around the country are part of a fight for the future of the planet.
The former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination addressed an adoring crowd of about 3,000 people who turned out for a rally at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier.
Sanders went through a litany of climate woes, including rising temperatures and increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. He said the fossil fuel industry puts short-term profits ahead of the best interests of the planet.
But he also noted a series of accomplishments that include ever-dropping costs of renewable energy production and well-paying jobs in renewable power.
Participants said they’re objecting to Trump’s rollback of restrictions on mining, oil drilling and greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants, among other things. Trump has called climate change a hoax, disputing the overwhelming consensus of scientists that the world is warming and that man-made carbon emissions are primarily to blame.
More than 2,000 people gathered at the Maine State House in Augusta. Speakers included a lobsterman, a solar company owner and members of the Penobscot Nation tribe.
“I’ve seen firsthand the impacts of climate change to not only the Gulf of Maine, but also to our evolving fisheries, and to the coastal communities that depend upon them,” said lobsterman Richard Nelson, of Friendship, Maine.
People in the crowd spoke about the importance of addressing climate change to industries such as renewable energy, forestry, farming and seafood. Saharlah Farah, a 16-year old immigrant from Somalia who lives in Portland, talked about how climate change could have a bigger toll on marginalized groups that have less financial resources.
“But I see untapped power here today,” she said.
A demonstration stretched for several blocks in downtown Tampa, Florida, where marchers said they were concerned about the threat rising seas pose to the city.
People gathered on Boston Common carried signs with slogans such as “Dump Trump.” Handmade signs at Seattle’s march included the general — “Love Life” — and the specific — “Don’t Kill Otters.”
Some of the marches drew big-name attendees, including former Vice President Al Gore and actor Leonardo DiCaprio in the nation’s capital and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at a Montpelier event.
“Honored to join Indigenous leaders and native peoples as they fight for climate justice,” DiCaprio tweeted.