WASHINGTON, D.C.—On President Trump’s hundredth day in office, a flood of protesters—fearful of more literal floods to come—deluged the nation’s capital.
Tens of thousands of people filled downtown Washington on Saturday to protest the Trump administration’s environmental agenda and the decades-long history of American inaction on climate change. Over the course of a sweltering 91-degree day, they shut down Pennsylvania Avenue, surrounded the White House in a massive sit-in, and rallied in front of the Washington Monument.
“What do we do when our communities are under attack? Stand up, fight back!” said Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network and one of the emcees of the rally.
Several protesters reported a feeling of relief at seeing thousands of other people who cared as much about climate change as they did. (The event officially estimates that more than 200,000 people attended, although accurate tallies of the crowd at events of this size are notoriously difficult to come by.)
“We had to come down for this—climate change is the most important issue of our time. But then we bought carbon credits to make up for it,” said Deborah Markowitz, the former Vermont secretary of state and a current professor at the University of Vermont. She marched with her daughter and her husband—whom she met, 35 years earlier, at the 1982 protest against nuclear weapons in Central Park.