Oakdale Students March Against Climate Change


Elissa Dallimore, Writer

On April 29th, 2017, over 200,000 citizens flocked to Washington D.C., other major cities in America, and around the world in support of the People’s Climate March. On what was considered to be the hottest April 29th in Washington D.C.’s history, the weather was fitting as protesters attempted to raise awareness for the time sensitive changes that need to be made to prevent further damage to the planet.


From babies in strollers to elders with walkers, the march attracted a variety of persons. Some marched with affiliated groups, such as Socialist Alternative and No Dakota Access Pipeline, to bring attention to specific practices that are harming the environment, and to advocate for reform. Counter-protesters also made an appearance, most popular in the form of pro-life advocates whose chants were soon drowned out by the passing crowd.


The March began at the Capitol Building and went up Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. As protesters passed various buildings, new chants were elicited as a result. The EPA received calls for more funding, in contrast to the disapproving jeers directed at Trump International Hotel. Despite the belief that this was an anti-Trump march, the People’s Climate March had been planned prior to the outcome of the election, as many believe that neither candidate sufficiently advocated for the environment.


Colorful signs often called for a carbon tax, a ban on fracking, an end to offshore drilling, and for the increased use of renewable energy sources. The current administration is a self-proclaimed climate change denier, which worries the majority of Americans, who not only acknowledge that climate change is real, but advocate for the necessary reforms to be made by the year 2030.


“We have to look far into the future. Ignoring the environment and using resources without regulations may seem productive at the moment, but what will happen after everything is used up and gone? Conflict over limited resources will occur, not to mention various catastrophes caused by abnormal weather,” Junior Justin Baek explained.


Oakdale students felt that by marching, they could help make a difference.


Junior Emma Houston explained, “If people won’t believe in what the Earth is telling them, then scientists and activists will do all we can to prove to them that problems are happening and change is needed!”


Despite the exasperating sentiment of attendees when they arrived, a sense of hopelessness was far from the buzz of the crowd by the end of the march. As various organizations handed out cards with information on how to become involved through lobbying those in Congress or through donations, attendees were given a way to direct their passion. From the sheer turnout, one was reminded that they are not alone in the fight to protect the environment.