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Environmentalists March in Washington, Hundreds of Other US Cities

  • VOA News

Participants chant in front of the White House in Washington, April 29, 2017, during a demonstration and march. Thousands of people gathered across the country to march in protest against President Donald Trump's environmental policies, which have included rolling back restrictions on mining, oil drilling and greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants.

Thousands of environmental activists marched in the U.S. capital Saturday, and in about 300 other cities across the country, to try to draw support for climate-related causes.

The People's Climate March was meant to coincide with President Donald Trump's 100th day in office, according to its organizers, who have condemned what they see as the administration's lack of concern for environmental issues. They said they objected to Trump's rollback of restrictions on mining, oil drilling and greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants, among other things.

"The Trump administration's policies are a catastrophe for our climate and communities, especially low-income and communities of color, who are on the front lines of this crisis," the People's Climate Movement, a collection of about 50 liberal activist groups, said in a statement.

Protesters marched from the Capitol to the White House, where they held a rally. About 300 "sister" marches or rallies were held in cities from Seattle to Boston. In Washington, marchers braved temperatures in the 90s, while in Denver, it snowed on several hundred activists who had gathered.

The partner organizations that made up the event's steering committee consisted mainly of environmental groups but included several trade unions and anti-war and minority advocacy groups, such as the NAACP.

The presence of so many non-climate-related sponsoring organizations was reflected in the group's "platform," which listed issues the activists said they found important but didn't feel were being adequately addressed by the Trump administration.

WATCH: People's Climate March Brings Thousands to Washington

The platform blended the problems organizers said were created by climate change with economic and social justice issues, and it called for such changes as increasing the national minimum wage to $15 an hour and fighting "the corporate trade-induced global race to the bottom."

"This is a moment to bring the range of progressive social change movements together," the group said on its website.

A similar event last weekend saw thousands of activists show up in the nation's capital for the March for Science to protest what they said were denials of scientific truths by the Trump administration. About 600 rallies were held around the world as well.

The national demonstrations on Saturday occurred a day after the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was updating its website to reflect the views of the Trump administration. It then removed several pages from former President Barack Obama's administration that explained the science behind climate change.

Trump has said he does not believe the science behind climate change.

The vast majority of scientists who study the climate say the planet is unequivocally warming, and that it is extremely likely the change is predominantly caused by humans.

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