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Climate activists march on Trump’s 100th day

Thousands of demonstrators across the country rallied against President Trump’s environmental policies and denial of climate change.

Demonstrators+in+front+of+Banning+Park+on+Saturday%2C+April+29+in+Wilmington.+The+crowd+prepares+to+march+down+to+the+L.A.+Harbor+to+protest+the+Tesoro+Refinery%E2%80%99s+plans+to+expand%2C+which+would+create+more+air+and+water+pollution+in+the+surrounding+neighborhoods.+The+protest+was+a+part+of+the+%E2%80%9CPeople%E2%80%99s+Climate+March%2C%E2%80%9D+which+happened+across+the+United+States+on+president+Trump%E2%80%99s+100th+day+in+office.
Demonstrators in front of Banning Park on Saturday, April 29 in Wilmington. The crowd prepares to march down to the L.A. Harbor to protest the Tesoro Refinery’s plans to expand, which would create more air and water pollution in the surrounding neighborhoods. The protest was a part of the “People’s Climate March,” which happened across the United States on president Trump’s 100th day in office.

Demonstrators in front of Banning Park on Saturday, April 29 in Wilmington. The crowd prepares to march down to the L.A. Harbor to protest the Tesoro Refinery’s plans to expand, which would create more air and water pollution in the surrounding neighborhoods. The protest was a part of the “People’s Climate March,” which happened across the United States on president Trump’s 100th day in office.

Taylor Williams

Taylor Williams

Demonstrators in front of Banning Park on Saturday, April 29 in Wilmington. The crowd prepares to march down to the L.A. Harbor to protest the Tesoro Refinery’s plans to expand, which would create more air and water pollution in the surrounding neighborhoods. The protest was a part of the “People’s Climate March,” which happened across the United States on president Trump’s 100th day in office.

Taylor Williams, Contributing Writer

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WILMINGTON – Hundreds from all over Los Angeles County gathered Saturday afternoon to protest President Trump’s environmental policies and agenda.

“[The Trump administration] thought we wouldn’t put up a fight and they were wrong,” said Jane Fonda, an actress and political activist, who spoke at the event before the march. “For the first time in human history we face an existential threat to our planet and to our democracy.”

Demonstrators across the country also gathered for the “People’s Climate March” to protest the Trump administration’s denials of environmental issues and various science-based claims. His recent policies and calls to eliminate environmental regulations, passed by former President Barack Obama, were also objected.

Protesters marched on his 100th day in office.

“Fight like your life depends on it. Because it does,” California Sen. Kevin De Leon said to the protestors in Banning Park in Wilmington.

The L.A. group marched from the park, where there was a festival and panel discussion, through surrounding neighborhoods down to the Tesoro Refinery in L.A.’s harbor. The refinery is undergoing a large expansion, which could worsen air quality in surrounding neighborhoods, said Dr. Christine Jocoy, a Cal State Long Beach associate professor of geography.

The area is already affected by smog from Long Beach’s port and the nearby I-405 and I-710 freeways.

Julia May, a senior scientist at Community for a Better Environment, said the expanded refinery would bring in 360,000 barrels of crude oil daily to the port from Vancouver, Wash.

She said the imports would cause a worldwide spike in methane.

“The issue of the Climate March is primarily of concern for this area because of the port’s contributions to air pollution,” Jocoy said. “The roads and rail networks are also a major concern.”

Jocoy says moving toward non-carbon energy sources would help reduce poor air quality and other environmental hazards. She said electrifying more of the port would help ease the pollution.

Asthma rates are steep among children living in proximity of the port, she said.

About 15 percent of Long Beach children have asthma, compared to the 8 percent of the rest of L.A. County.

A buffer zone between the port and surrounding neighborhoods would also help reduce health issues from the smog, Jocoy said. Planting trees and creating air-filtration systems would be one option to creating it, she said.

“In California we believe in science and in climate action,” said De Leon. “We believe every single child, regardless of where they came from, deserves to bring clean air into their lungs and drink clear water. We don’t believe in alternative facts.”

Rhiannon Lopez, 24, said she feels a strong sense of pride in protecting Long Beach’s environment because her family immigrated there in the late ‘70s from Guadalajara, Mexico.

“I’m here for future generations,” she said. “I want them to know what bees, polar bears and icebergs are.”

She said she’s frustrated with politicians making environmental decisions, including Environmental Protection Agency  Administrator Scott Pruitt.

“Climate change is a human fight, not a bipartisan fight,” Lopez said. “The environment doesn’t care about your gender or ethnicity. It affects all of us.”

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