Students march in People’s Climate March

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By Emily Carrabba Contributing Writer On the weekend of April 28, members of the Union community went to Washington, D.C. to join the People’s Climate March. The date of the march was chosen to mark the President’s first 100 days in office. The idea was to tell the President, Scott Pruitt, climate change deniers and other policy makers that climate change is real and that the United States needs to take action. When members of Union’s Environmental Club heard about this march in February, they decided that Union needed to have representatives go to the march. One of the current co-president of Union College’s Environmental Club, Angie DeDona ’19, with the help of Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Dr. Jeffrey Corbin, began to organize the bus. They were able to arrange spots on a bus ran by the Sierra Club. The spots on the bus were mainly filled by members of Union’s environmental and sustainability-based organizations, including the Environmental Club, U-Sustain and the Ozone House. With the help of fundraising, the trip was at no cost to Union students. Several people were on a bus that left from Albany, some drove to D.C. on their own and the majority, about 25 people, took a bus from College Park Hall. For those leaving from CPH, the journey began around 10:55 p.m. on Friday: the time set to meet and begin boarding the bus. Their journey would not end until two a.m. on Sunday morning when they got back to campus. These members of the Union community drove to Washington, D.C. to join over 200,000 people who were marching. The bus arrived around nine a.m. and those involved broke up to explore the area. They met at 11 a.m. to begin to gather at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and 3rd Street, towards the back of the March. The March began at 12:30 p.m., but the Union students were not able to begin marching until after one p.m. because of their location. Once marching began, the Union students started to separate and march. During the march, there were many chants, most focusing on climate change. These chants continued as the march went down Pennsylvania avenue towards the White House. Once there, the people marching surrounded the White House and linked arms. At 2 p.m., everyone, regardless of where they reached, sat down and began a moment of silence. After that, a 100-beat collective heartbeat began. At the end of the heartbeat, everyone stood up and cheered. The march then continued to the lawn in front of the Washington Monument. On the lawn, there were many speakers there to talk about the event and other environmental issues. Many of the speakers came from underrepresented backgrounds to speak on how climate change and other environmental issues had affected their communities. Some of these speakers were members of the tribes and areas that would be affected by the Keystone XL Pipeline. The mood of the event was a positive one, as it was a peaceful protest. Climate change was the focus, with an emphasis on Trump and his administrators. Those who marched all marched for different reasons. There were pregnant women that wore shirts that read, “I’m marching so he can have a planet.” Such signs were reminders of the effect that ignoring this issue may cause. The march took place on a bright sunny day with temperatures reaching into the 90s. This weather was different than some of the 370 sister marches that were also happening that day. Some areas, like Denver, marched in the snow. The members of Union’s community that experienced this march felt glad to speak their mind and promote change.

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