On a rainy Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, 2017 in Washington DC – on the 47th anniversary of Earth Day and the one-year anniversary of the Paris Climate Accord – tens of thousands of scientists, students, environmental activists and families concerned about a viable future for their children turned out on the National Mall as part of a worldwide protest to defend science and facts, and fight against a series of government moves that refute scientific evidence.
U.S. President Donald Trump recently released budget proposal that outlines $54 billion in cuts across government programmes that support science-based policy and research to make way for increases in defence spending.
In the U.S., the huge crowd at the event presented by Earth Day Network in Washington DC was mirrored by demonstrations and marches in cities like New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, Austin, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco and many more.
Globally, demonstrators in Australia kicked off the day of protest. In Sydney, marchers carried banners with slogans such as “Science makes sense.” In New Zealand, activists in Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch took part. Marches were also held in Durban and Cape Town, South Africa, and in Tokyo.
Across Europe, marches took place in UK, France, Ireland, Finland, Germany, Portugal and the Netherlands.
From the Vatican, Pope Francis tweeted, “Lord, bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty not pollution and destruction.”
Over 600 Earth Day rallies and marches for science were counted, but the true number may have been many more, according to observers.
“Hell has no fury like a scientist whose integrity is questioned,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of the Earth Day Network. “These folks aren’t making hundreds of millions of dollars. They’re not billionaires. They’re working at government rates so to speak. They are giving their lives to their work and have one thing to hang on to – the truth and their integrity.”
“It’s not just lab people, but everyone from computer programmers to people working on cancer,” she added. “All these people, they’re not happy being called liars.”
The March for Science has been described as a celebration of the passion for science and the many ways science serves communities and the world. The March for Science is an unprecedented global gathering of scientists and science enthusiasts joining together to acknowledge the vital role science plays in peoples’ lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives an insight into the world.