The Peoples Climate March will be another historic moment in Washington DC this Saturday, April 29, as an expected force of hundreds of thousands hit the streets and march in opposition of President Donald Trump’s environmental policies. For those who can’t attend the big event this weekend, local members of the Resistance, as well as various East End organizations, will join the effort with a smaller march in Sag Harbor from 12–1 p.m. on Saturday.
Announced following the massive January 21 Women’s March—which drew millions of demonstrators speaking out for women’s rights the day after Trump’s inauguration—the Peoples Climate March kicks off on the eve the President’s 100th day in office.
“March with us through the streets of Sag Harbor and show your support for healthy water, air, land and communities—across the globe and in our own backyards,” artist and Sag Harbor Partnership member April Gornik says in an email announcing the event.
The first Peoples Climate March occurred in New York City on September 21, 2014, the day before the UN Climate Summit, and drew some 400,000 people demanding action to address the global climate crisis. Saturday’s march could draw even greater crowds in Washington as President Trump’s policies have already reversed much of the Obama administration’s good work toward protecting the environment, taking great steps backward in the fight to save the planet.
One concrete example of Trump’s attitude toward the environment and climate change is his nomination, and eventual confirmation, of Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has made clear his rejection of the idea that climate change is definitely caused by man—something almost all the word’s scientists, and even his own agency, have accepted for years. He also spent much of his time as Oklahoma Attorney General suing the EPA, which he now leads, in order to limit or overturn environmental regulations on things like mercury pollution, clean air standards, ozone pollution and carbon emissions. According to Audubon.com, Pruitt received almost $315,000 in campaign contributions from fossil fuel industries since 2002. And the list goes on.
Trump tweeted in 2012 that the “concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing less competitive.” It’s also quite possible he’ll pull out of the Paris Agreement, a treaty signed by 195 countries that have agreed to work together against the climate change threat. Trump has said he’ll make the final decision next month.
The President also supports big coal and the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, which many fear will put the surrounding environment at risk.
According to a release from the Peoples Climate March just yesterday (Wednesday, April 26), the Trump administration just issued an executive order directing the Department of the Interior, led by Ryan Zinke, to review previous monument designations allowed under the 1906 Antiquities Act. According to White House officials, the review could bring “changes or modifications” that could open more public lands to fossil fuel extraction.
“On April 29th, it’s going to be much clearer to Donald Trump that he won’t drag America or the world backwards on climate without the fight of his life,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a release about the march. “Our planet is in crisis, and voices from around the nation must and will be heard.”
While not everyone can get to Washington DC on Saturday, showing up and being heard in Sag Harbor, or any other march around the world that day, is the next best thing. Local groups participating in this East End branch of the nationwide protest include Progressive East End Reformers, Citizens Climate Lobby, Racial Justice East End, the Shinnecock Nation, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork, and Perfect Earth Project.
Anyone taking part in the Sag Harbor demonstration should meet at Long Wharf at noon on Saturday, April 29. The march will then go through the commercial section of Main Street and back to the windmill on Long Wharf. Signs are welcome and encouraged.
Learn more about the Peoples Climate March at peoplesclimate.org.