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People’s Climate March: A Protest Against the Fossil Fuel Industry Taking Over the U.S. Government

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The People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C., was held in the sweltering heat as the temperatures soared over 90 degrees. Activists and organizers came in from across the country. Among those who were there was Bill McKibben and May Boeve of 350.org.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: As President Trump marked his 100th day in office Saturday, up to 200,000 people took to the streets of Washington, D.C., to take part in the People’s Climate March. Democracy Now! was on the streets and aired a 5-hour special. These are some of the highlights of that day.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to start by going to May Boeve. May is the head of 350.org, one of the main organizations that is running this event. Hi, May.

MAY BOEVE: Hi, Amy. Good morning.

AMY GOODMAN: So you are standing here between the Capitol and the Washington Monument. Your thoughts on this day and why so many people are gathered?

MAY BOEVE: It’s a really important day today. It’s the hundredth day of the Trump administration. And we have seen nothing but bad news for people and for the planet, and that’s why so many people are going to come.

AMY GOODMAN: So, what’s the—who came up with this?

MAY BOEVE: Well, it’s a—that’s what’s wonderful about today, is that this is truly a coming together of labor, health groups, faith groups, environmentalists, community groups. Over 900 organizations are making this happen. And we are here to show that to change everything, we need everyone. And so, that is why we will see numerous people on the streets today.

AMY GOODMAN: So, talk about the schedule of the day.

MAY BOEVE: So, people are starting to gather right now. We’re going to assemble in different contingents, ranging from a fossil fuel contingent—the front lines will lead off the march. Youth will be in the front of the march. And then we’re going to march through the Capitol, and we are going to surround the White House. And we’ll all sit down there. We’ll have a moment of silence, a moment of noise and exultation of why we’re out here to resist. And then we’re going to go back to our communities and fight hard there, because we know that what’s happening in Washington is not good for any of us, but we can actually build what we need at the local level. And that is what people are going to do.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, people are not only converging on Washington. How many protests and rallies do you expect throughout the country and the world?

MAY BOEVE: Last I heard, there’s over 300 just around the U.S. in terms of sister marches. This morning I saw photos from the marches in Sweden, in the Netherlands, in the Philippines. People are marching for clean energy, to stop coal plants, to divest. It’s really, truly global, as all of these incredible demonstrations have been. This resistance is not just about the White House. It’s about the fossil fuel industry taking over governments around the world. But people are not taking this quietly.

AMY GOODMAN: So, you talked about the fossil fuel contingent. What do you mean?

MAY BOEVE: That’s a group of where people from all over the country who are fighting fracking and pipelines, tar sands, are going to be marching together, just like there’s a faith contingent.

AMY GOODMAN: Just one second.


AMY GOODMAN: There’s someone who’s taking your picture secretly, and I’d like him to take responsibility for his act. OK, Bill McKibben, you’ve just photobombed this interview. And we’re interested in what you have to say for yourself. Why are you here today, standing right in front of the Capitol?

BILL McKIBBEN: Look, this is—this is a big day and going to be an interesting one. Washington, D.C., is going to set a heat record today for the date. It’s supposed to be 92 degrees. Like planets, people aren’t well adapted to heat, especially this early in the season. People have got to be really careful today. So, people who are watching this, who are coming out to march, water, hats. We worry about warming up, because too much heat’s a bad thing. And today’s a—you know, that’s true today, too.

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