CHICAGO — Organizers say over 5,000 people attended a rally in Chicago Saturday that was just one of over 350 held across the country to protest President Donald Trump's environmental policies during his 100th day in office.
The President’s first 100 days have seen almost weekly demonstrations in Chicago. Saturday's march was primarily concerned with his approach to climate change and other environmental issues. The three-hour protest and march through the Loop ended with a moment of silence at Trump Tower.
As they marched to Trump Tower, protesters criticized the President's decision to appoint climate change skeptic Scott Pruitt as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
"... appointing Scott Pruitt to the EPA is a direct attack on all the environmental protections that we have just gained over the last 8-10 years," protester Octavius Hayes said.
Protester Michael Kras said he came to show the importance of recognizing the urgency of dealing with climate change.
"This is one of those things that if we don’t turn it around now, it’s going to be too late and there’s no rewind button," Kras said.
Chicagoan Diane Christensen came to the rally dressed a lung to underscore the point that clean air is being threatened.
“That’s why we’re out here displaying our silliness; to try to get attention to wake people up," Christiansen said.
Trump has defended his first 100 days in office as a success. So far on the environment, the Trump administration has allowed coal mines to dump waste into rivers, allowed hunters to use poisonous lead ammunition on federal land, approved the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, reconsidered fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, proposed massive cuts to the EPA, and banned government scientists from speaking in public.
“Unfortunately he’s enacting a lot of the things that he said he would, particularly when it comes to climate change," said protester Mary Ellen Madden. "The only way we can make change is when we’re walking and marching together.”