Saturday, May 06, 2017

20.4 - Mass marches in April

Mass marches in April

It has been an encouraging, even exciting few weeks recently, as masses of people were prepared to prove by their presence that despite what some have said, the resistance is not "fading."

April 15
First there was April 15, traditionally Tax Day, and on this one tens of thousands of people marched to demand that Donald TheRump release his tax returns as well as for increased transparency in governance and a fairer tax system that does not favor the wealthy.

Actions were planned in 192 cities and towns spread across 44 states and Washington, DC.

The two largest turnouts were 25,000 Washington, DC and 20,000 people in New York City. With several other places reporting crowds in the hundreds or even thousands, the prediction of organizers that 100,000 people would take part nationwide could well be on the mark.

Then there was the one that was sort of a surprise in that it was generated by an unusual constituency for mass public action: scientists.

What was originally billed as the "Scientists' March on Washington" grew within a few weeks from a single post on Reddit to a coalition of around 100 organizations, many of them devoted in some way to the sciences, education, or the environment, calling for a "March for Science."

April 22
So on April 22, Earth Day, people took part in over 600 marches and events, including 200 outside the US, to express support for scientific research and the scientific method.

And again, the turnout was impressive. Based on news accounts, there were at least 10,000 in Washington, DC, 10,000 in Philadelphia, 15,000 in San Diego, thousands in Seattle, thousands more in Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, thousands marching in St. Paul, Minnesota and Santa Fe, New Mexico, more than a thousand in Gainesville, Florida, hundreds in Nashville, Tennessee and Montpelier, Vermont.

Hundreds, scores, dozens, in other places in a worldwide celebration of knowledge and against the rejection of science.

And if April 22 didn't convince you the resistance is alive and well, April 29 damn well should have. More than 200,000 showed up in Washington, DC for the Peoples Climate March, far outstripping the organizers' predicted turnout of 50,000-100,000.

The march began at 12:30pm, and by 2:00pm, organizers had succeeded in their goal of completely surrounding the White House. It was so large that people who had been at the very front of the march were beginning to drift away from the event by the time the people at the end of the march got started.

And even though the focus of the organizing was on getting people to go to DC, there were hundreds of events across nearly all 50 states, from the Aleutian Islands to Miami.

April 29
Early estimates were that more than 50,000 people marched or rallied in addition to those in DC, a number than may well be conservative, with marches in all the major cities, such as Seattle, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, San Diego, and Los Angeles as well as major tunouts in smaller cities.

More than 2,000 Augusta, Maine. Some 2,000 in Traverse City, Michigan and 500 in Palm Beach, Florida.

Hundreds in Denver, hundreds in Ithaca and Glens Falls, New York, large crowds in Honolulu, Salt Lake City, Dallas, in Frederick Maryland and Grand Marais, Minnesota, in Tampa, Florida and Montpelier, Vermont.

And that doesn't include the masses of people who turned out around the globe: Japan, the Philippines, New Zealand, Uganda, Kenya, Germany, Greece, United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, Ireland, Sweden, the list goes on, all coming together to say in what could be the informal slogan of the event, "There is no planet B."

The resistance lives and it grows.

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