Thousands in L.A. Join Nationwide March for Science

Performers at March for Science in Chicago, one of dozens of demonstrations nationwide on Earth Day 2017
Performers join in the March for Science on Earth Day 2017. This march in Chicago was one of dozens worldwide. | Photo: Max Herman/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Thousands of scientists, and science lovers, took to the streets of downtown Los Angeles Saturday to show their support for fact- based research and environmental protection.

The Los Angeles Police Department estimated 10,000 to 12,000 people made the trek from Pershing Square to City Hall starting at 11 a.m.

In pre-march remarks, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, criticized the Trump administration. "Policy should be guided by scientific consensus. Scientific facts not `alternative facts,"' he said. "Donald Trump can't stop global warming just by emitting an unprecedented volume of hot air."

California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon brought up immigration during remarks at City Hall. "One-half of our scientists in California today are immigrants."

The group also heard from Martha Dina Arguello, executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility in Los Angeles. "Today the Cold War is over and the nuclear threat is not," she said. "There is no meaningful medical response to a nuclear war" except disarmament, she said.

Thousands of people in Paris joined in a day of worldwide demonstrations in support of science.
Protesters hold banners during the March for Science in Paris, France, on 22 April 2017.. Scientists, science enthusiasts, and concerned citizens come together to make themselves heard. | Photo:  Emeric Fohlen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Organizers in the U.S. say they want 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 Earth Day, an annual observance focusing on environmental and climate literacy that is celebrated in nearly 200 countries.

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

In Santa Monica, Pacific Park's iconic Ferris wheel will go "green" from 7:31 p.m. until midnight.

The Los Angeles science march started at 9 a.m. at Pershing Square Park and the marchers made their way to City Hall. Along the way there was music and informational activities.

Speakers  include seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones, Congressman Brad Sherman and representatives from most of the Los Angeles area's colleges and universities.

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