Science hits back: Anti-Trump protest set to draw thousands

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Scientists stage anti-Trump rally in San Francisco five months ago.

Since its inception in late January, the March for Science has transformed from a grass-roots social media campaign into a bona fide force of scientific advocacy, attracting support from more than 220 official science organizations.

At the Tax March this past weekend, attendees said the protests were effective, crediting demonstrations throughout the country with thwarting Trump's travel ban plans and stymieing Republicans' proposed health care plan.

A climate-change skeptic says some upcoming Earth Day marches are primarily political in nature, even though organizers claim the focus will be on the earth and climate.

Under Trump's budget blueprint, the National Institutes of Health would lose almost $6 billion in funding, a massive blow to federally funded medical and scientific research. The videos feature co-founder Bill McKibben, actor and activist Maggie Gyllenhaal, renowned climate scientist James Hansen, longtime head of the EPA Environmental Justice program Mustafa Ali, and top atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe.

Wide area of San Francisco hit by power outage
As of 9:15 a.m., BART announced that Montgomery Station was closed, and trains would not be stopping there. BART trains and San Francisco Muni trains are skipping the Montgomery Station.

March supporters say that they do not intend for this to be a fleeting movement, and want to engage outside of the scientific community. "Policymakers threaten our present and future by ignoring scientific evidence when crafting policy, threatening scientific advancement through budget cuts, and limiting the public's knowledge by silencing scientists", said Caroline Weinberg, National Co-Chair, March for Science in a statement on April 10.

"... the march has generated a great deal of conversation around whether or not scientists should involve themselves in politics. Now more than ever, we have to speak up in defense of scientific integrity and a livable future". A week later Earth Week will culminate on April 29th with the People's Climate March - another excellent opportunity for us to join together and build the political power it will take to help solve the biggest environmental problem facing our planet.

Jeffrey Anderson, an associate professor of radiology and bioengineering at the University of Utah, told the New York Times that he "planned to fly from Salt Lake City to the march in Washington with his partner and four teenage children". "Because attacks on science don't just hurt scientists, they hurt scientists' ability to protect the people, and climate change epitomizes that".

Numerous organizers and participants of the March for Science have backgrounds in climate science, and many have been advocating for bold climate action well before the election of Donald Trump. See the People's World story about that demonstration here. But, compared with recent years, the Trump era has seen a marked increase in demonstrations on the city's federal land. Also, they will demand that "billions not be spent on a wall, but on strengthening public schools to educate all our children regardless of immigration status", according to the American Federation of Teachers, one of the many unions supporting actions on that day.

And for the first time in decades, huge numbers of people in the US will celebrate May 1 as International Workers' Day the same as workers do in other countries around the world.