March against Climate Change

BY LARA NORKUS-CRAMPTON

Over 200,000 citizens, environmentalist organizations, and union members from all over the country weathered mid-90-degree temps to join the March for Climate, Jobs, and Justice in Washington, D.C. Many other sister marches took place in cities all over the U.S. and world on President Trump’s 100th day in office, April 29.
The march was organized in response to warnings from organizations like the Union for Concerned Scientists that stated: “Global warming is already having significant and harmful effects on our communities, our health and our climate.”  The march was also responding to certain actions of the Trump administration such as rolling back regulations on carbon emissions; rescinding an Obama executive order to focus on making U.S. infrastructure more resilient to increasingly extreme climate events; and, most recently, appointing an opponent of renewable energy to head the department of renewable energy.
Mary Kay Henry, international president of Service Employees International Union, declared that, “Every day SEIU members and our communities experience the impact of toxic pollution in our air and water and the catastrophic impacts from climate change that are made worse from this pollution. We march because we are on the frontlines. As working people, people of color and immigrants, we march because our families are disproportionately hardest hit by pollution and climate change’s impacts. We march because as service and care workers we are on the frontlines of caring for and responding to impacted families and communities. We march because it’s time to hold corporate polluters who wreak havoc on our communities accountable to us.”
National Nurses United, the largest union and professional organization of registered nurses in the country, officially calls climate change and environmental justice public health issues.  “As patient advocates, nurses know that it’s our duty to follow the path of a public health crisis out into the world, where it begins, and to fight for environmental justice to prevent our patients from becoming sick or injured in the first place,” said NNU Co-President Jean Ross, RN.
Doreen McIntyre, a registered nurse in Minneapolis said she was at the march because, “The destruction of our planet for profit is the worst kind of selfishness and greed. If we are not able to stop this from happening nothing else matters. My voice is all I have.  I can’t sit by and watch it happen without doing my best to fight against it.”
The Trump International Hotel was on the parade route. Marchers broke out in spontaneous chants of “Shame! Shame!” as they peacefully gathered around the front doors protected by security personnel.
All participants agreed that there needed to be continued opposition to President Trump’s anti-environmental policies and pressure on Congress. Paul Getsos, national coordinator of the broad-based coalition called the Peoples Climate Movement, stated, “Congress needs to continue to stand up to an administration that favors corporate profits over clean air and water and places our workers, communities and our people at great risk.”
This is only the first hundred days.

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