Thousands March For Science In Downtown LA

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) – Thousands of people in downtown Los Angeles took to the streets Saturday as part of the nationwide March for Science, decrying President Donald Trump’s policies and urging him and the rest of the U.S. to put faith in evidence-based science.

Led by two electric massive electric Hummers, several thousand people marched and chanted things like “Money for science and education, not for wars and climate alteration.” They carried signs that read: “There is no Planet B” and “The Earth does not belong to man.”

PHOTOS: Los Angeles March For Science

“It’s just infuriating that people pretend it’s not decided, pretend it might not be happening,” protester Cara King said to CBS2’s Greg Mills regarding climate change. “The oceans are rising the glaciers are melting, it’s insane.”

The marches are partly in response to Trump’s proposed budget that slashes funding for the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy and NASA.

“Scientific facts Trump political fiction,” one sign read.

“I really hope this message is sent and maybe something can change,” protester Alfred Thompson said.

Organizers said they wanted to highlight the role science plays in improving health care, the environment and the economy, and to stand against the silencing and defunding of research.

“Facts matter,” local organizer Alex Bradley said in a prepared statement. “In California, we use science to enable technology, spur innovation and create new industries and new jobs.”

The science marches come on the 47th anniversary of Earth Day, an annual observance focusing on environmental and climate literacy that is celebrated in nearly 200 countries.

“We’ve gone through a time where we used to look up to intelligence and aspire to learn more and do more with that and intellectual curiosity … And now we’ve got a government that is saying that climate change is a Chinese hoax,” said Danny Leserman, 26, who was carrying a sign showing a sad polar bear wishing for more ice.

“It needs to be known throughout the world that America isn’t just those people at the top saying climate change isn’t real, that vaccines are going to cause autism,” said Leserman, director of digital media at the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. “We need officials that are more representative of the fact that people are really for science.”

Dan Herrig and his wife brought their three daughters from Laverne.

“They’re here because the future of science in America is about them, it’s not about us,” Herrig told CBS2.

In the Los Angeles area, a variety of beautification projects and community education events were planned Saturday. These range from a habitat restoration and creek cleanup by the Friends of Ballona Wetlands to the 28th annual Great L.A. River CleanUp.

Political signs (many of them funny) abounded. Maybe the best get-up, the man dressed as a polar bear walking around with his own portable glacier.

The march began at 11 a.m. in Pershing Square Park and made its way to City Hall. Along the way there was music and informational activities. Speakers included seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones, Congressman Brad Sherman and representatives from most of the Los Angeles area’s colleges and universities.

There was no word of any violence or arrests.

Marches also took place in San Francisco, Berkeley, San Jose, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego and Palm Springs. More than 500 such marches were happening across the country, anchored in Washington.

The marches were also global with a huge turnout in London. Berlin, Vienna and Sydney, Australia.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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