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Resist: Scientists, allies take stand at marches

by Liz Highleyman

Protesters held signs at the March for Science in<br>Amsterdam. Photo: Liz Highleyman
Protesters held signs at the March for Science in
Amsterdam. Photo: Liz Highleyman  

Tens of thousand of scientists and science supporters turned out across the globe Saturday, April 22, for the March for Science, celebrating scientific advances and asking governments to maintain funding for scientific and medical research.

In San Francisco more than 10,000 people marched from Justin Herman Plaza down Market Street, ending at a rally and science fair at Civic Center Plaza. Many participants carried handmade signs with messages such as "There is no Planet B," "The oceans are rising and so are we," and "Be like bacteria: Resist!"

An estimated 15,000 people came out for the national March for Science in Washington, D.C., despite heavy rain. Large satellite marches also took place in Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles, as well as in numerous cities worldwide. Organizers estimated that there were more than 600 marches on six continents.

The March for Science was inspired by the large Women's Marches on the day after Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, and motivated by Trump's perceived hostility to scientific evidence and proposed cuts to science-related agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and National Institutes of Health.

Dissension from some scientists who did not want to "politicize" science and complained about march organizers' commitment to progressive causes apparently did not dampen turnout.

 

Much happening for May Day

The next big day of action will be Monday, May 1, celebrated worldwide as International Workers Day. Organizers across the country have called for general strikes, student and faculty walkouts at universities, and actions in support of immigrants.

Activists are opposed to Trump's policies that restrict immigration from several mostly Muslim-majority countries, his stepped up raids and deportations of undocumented immigrants, and his moves to limit visas for workers.

In San Francisco activists are planning a morning protest at 8 a.m. at Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters at 630 Sansome Street. This will be followed by a Day Without Immigrants rally and march from Justin Herman Plaza to Civic Center Plaza starting at 11 a.m.

Later in the day in Oakland, activists are calling for a march and strike for immigrant and worker rights. The rally will start at 3 p.m. at Fruitvale Plaza, with a march ending at San Antonio Park.

The May 1 actions are supported by Bay Resistance, Jobs with Justice, and many other local labor, immigrant rights, and social justice organizations.

 

Upcoming events

On May 16, Equality California, in partnership with several other LGBT and HIV organizations across the state, will host the 2017 LGBT Advocacy Day at the state Capitol in Sacramento. For more information or to register, see eqca.org/advocacyday.

On May 22, Project Inform will host a forum to discuss growing threats to people living with, and at risk for, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C in the Trump era, including the risk of losing access to medical care and defunding of treatment and prevention services.

Moderated by KQED's Scott Shafer, the panel will feature Dan Bernal from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's (D-San Francisco) office, Ernest Hopkins, director of legislative affairs at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Harm Reduction Coalition Executive Director Monique Tula, and Project Inform staff members. The event will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street.

 

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