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For Loudoun’s climate marchers, 100-day mark a measure of Trump resistance

Members of Loudoun 350, an environmental advocacy group, at Saturday’s climate march. Courtesy Photo
The convoy of buses lined up idly in the parking lot of the Leesburg Park and Ride Saturday morning may have been a peculiar sight to passersby who know the transit doesn’t operate on the weekend.

Around it, dozens of people – some clutching handmade signs, some in matching T-shirts – were mingling before hopping on board.

The group of protesters were ready to make the journey from Leesburg to the People’s Climate March in Washington Saturday, a demonstration organizers say brought nearly 200,000 participants from across the country.

The march has been an annual fixture since its inception in New York in 2014, but this year’s turnout dwarfed that of previous years.

Leesburg's Amanda Tandy said it's because actions by President Donald Trump and his administration have spurred interest for this year's event. Tandy and her husband Chris are co-chairs of 350 Loudoun, which teamed up with the Virginia Sierra Club to arrange for bus rides from Leesburg for those who wanted to attend the climate march.

For many of the protesters taking the 45-minute trip from Leesburg to D.C., participating in marches is a new experience. In one minibus carrying 17 passengers, eight said they had never participated in a politically motivated demonstration before the 2016 election.

Among them was Kelsea Bordoe, a Round Hill resident who said she made changes to her daily regiment when Trump became president.

“I had never written a letter to a congressman. Never made phone calls,” Bordoe said. “My coworkers make fun of me because every day on my lunch break, I’m signing petition, petition, petition … I’m making my phone calls to the congressmen, to the senators, I’m writing my emails. I do it every day for one hour.”

Rosie Lawler, another Leesburg resident, said she still has memories of going to the first Earth Day celebration in D.C. in April of 1970. Months later, air pollution and health hazards moved President Richard Nixon to establish the Environmental Protection Agency

“We shouldn’t be fighting these battles again. I don’t want to see my children and grandchildren have to fight this battle again for clean air and clean water,” Lawler said.

Although she has voted for presidential candidates of both parties, Lawler self-identified as an independent prior to this year. She voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, though, and said the candidate’s climate policies played a role in her decision. Clean air and clean water, Lawler said, shouldn’t be pitting one party against another.

Loudoun residents Amanda Tandy, left, and Kelsea Bordoe. Courtesy Photo


Saturday marked the end of the first 100 days of the Trump presidency. In keeping with the tradition of presidents using the 100-day mark to sell their administration’s successes, Trump held a campaign-style rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania hours after the march took place.

“I truly believe that the first 100 days of my administration has been just about the most successful in our country's history," Trump said in his weekly address, released the day prior. "In just 14 weeks, my administration has brought profound change to Washington."

In Harrisburg, Trump touted the executive order that gave the go-ahead to begin the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, which President Obama halted, citing environmental concerns. Regarding the Paris Agreement, the 194-country greenhouse gas deal his predecessor’s administration helped broker, Trump promised a “big decision” to come soon.

Reversing course on the Obama administration's policies, from health care to trade to the environmental regulations, have been a focal point of Trump's first 100 days.

Yet the administration’s actions on climate change have left the riders of bus from Leesburg unsettled.

They used words like “anger” “fear” and “immense sadness” to describe how they’ve been feeling for the last 100 days.

Winchester resident Kathy Weiss said she finds Trump’s choice for former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA troubling.

Pruitt and Trump have made comments dismissive of the scientific consensus on climate change. In an interview with CNBC in March, Pruitt said he “would not agree that [CO2] is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”

Trump in 2013 tweeted “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. factories non-competitive.”

At the march, one protester wielded a sign that read, “deny Trump, not climate.” Another protester’s sign read, “Pruitt don’t do it.”

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey attended the march. Speaking into a megaphone minutes before it started, the first-term senator riled up the audience.

“We in Massachusetts are not going to agonize, we are going to organize,” Markey said. “We must fight, we must stand, we must resist.”

Markey and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy were among the speakers Saturday. Hollywood figures like Leonardo Di Caprio, Jane Fonda and Jared Leto were seen taking part in the day’s protests.

As the march moved west past the White House and toward the Lincoln Memorial, the Tandys were flashing a several-foot-long black paper pipeline with the words “No Fracking Pipeline” written on it in white ink -- sign of opposition to two under-review natural gas pipelines proposed by Dominion Power, which would build miles of pipeline in Virginia if approved

An estimated 200,000 were in Washington D.C. for the climate march Saturday. Courtesy Photo


Several Virginia protesters in attendance said they view ending the use of natural gas pipelines in the state as part of their fight against climate change. Some say they used the march as an opportunity to advocate for it and other issues unique to Virginians.

Amanda Tandy said organizing the travel from Leesburg to D.C. was no easy task, but she remarked that the cause is important and said she’ll do as much as she can to get Loudoun residents on the front lines.

“We’ve only got one planet and we have a beautiful, beautiful home and watching it be destroyed breaks my heart,” said Amanda Tandy. “I would do anything, including filling a bus with a hundred people to get them to the climate march, to save it.”

Comments


John Doe…another troll afraid to identify himself has both points wrong. Of course climate changes. There is no dispute in science over this. That is not the current problem. Humans have accelerated (caused) the current climate changes through burning fossil fuels and pumping other chemicals into the atmosphere. And of course the 97% of climate scientists who verify this are a minority in repubs minds. Cite peer reviewed, scientific sources that run counter to the fact of human caused climate change please.


It’s so easy to march and protest ... do the HARD thing:  use your brains to find solutions to the world’s problems.  Invest your time and energy into finding innovative solutions instead of walking around like zombies chanting mindless, meaningless nonsense!


old time fracking did not pump toxic chemicals into ground like now - oklahoma & other central us states suffer man-made earthquakes -

1973 to 2008 - 24 avg earthquakes magnitude 3.0 or higher;  2009 to 2015, avg 318 earthquakes 3.0 or higher per year; 2015 - 1,010 earthquakes magnitude 3.0 or higher


TEA party tactics worked when the Democrats were in charge.  The Ds are totally ripping off the Rs strategy and by the looks of it are doing a better job of winning than Trump.


Free tip to conservatives: Don’t forget the Tea Party protests.


Loudoun Nonsense is spouting off lib talking points. Can you say Justice Gorsuch? Can you say Keystone Pipeline? Can you say Illegal border crossings are down 60 percent? No, because it doesn’t meet your narrative.


Fracking is the reason power companies are moving from Coal to NatGas, which is 50% cleaner and doesn’t leave around piles of coal ash waiting to wash into steams and rivers.

You silly liberals should be thankful for fracking, because it’s cleaning up the environment without a single government mandate and is accomplishing more than any leftist organization could ever dream of.


Free tip for Trumpians:  You fell for Trump’s histrionics about Clinton, climate change, coal jobs, health care, Russia, the media, “drain the swamp” and the size of his ”    “.  His is in over his head as he acknowledged last week “this job is tougher than I thought.”

The Repoutlicans control every branch of government and Trump can’t even lead them to pass any legislation.

WOW…he’s really good.


I might be more receptive if the Left hadn’t run around during my teens, 20s and 30s screaming that the icebergs are coming to cover us all!  Global Cooling and all the models were wrong.  And, Obama forcefully saying “The science is settled”.  The whole POINT of science is that it is NEVER settled.


I think you Glen are the one out of touch with reality. You might want to do your homework on global warming. The climate always changes, that’s a reality. Taking money from people over a theory that most scientist don’t support…that’s stealing.


LoudounResident- you are so right. Democrats need to realize that people voted President Trump into office because they liked his ideas and want to see them through. These people who protest every single thing the President does are just seen as nuisances by the rest of us and people have stopped listening to them. Democratic politicians need to realize that America voted for Trump and they need to stop their “resistance” tactics because that is not what people want- only Hollywood wants that and those people are not in touch with the real world. America voted for the man, get out of the way and let him implement his plan and if we don’t like it we will vote for someone else in the next election, which is exactly what happened this past November. Someone will undoubtedly respond by saying “more people voted for Hillary” and the response is that is why we have an electoral college, so two states (CA and NY) can’t determine the outcome of every election.
The best thing for democrats to do right now is get out of the way and for the love of humanity, shut up! We’re tired of you.
Let’s see those rich Hollywood liberals “resist” the tax breaks they will be getting under Trump. That will tell you what they are all about right there because you know not one of them will say “I’ll keep paying higher taxes because I disagree with the President”. Nope.


saturday’s climate march & free press events drew crowds:

> 200,000 in dc and hundreds of thousands in 370 marches across country & around world in defense of “climate, jobs, & justice”

sold out wh correspondents dinner in defense of 1st amendment raised scholarships & “not the wh correspondents dinner” raised $ for committee to protect journalists

(plus) last week’s march for science to “defend role of science in policy and society” in 600 cities around world

yet
empty seats at 100th day rally in pa

free tip - focus on real facts


Mr. Loudoun Resident,the sad thing is that you will probably not suffer over climate change, but your kids and grandkids will. This is not “histrionics”. This is real. Saying it is not does not change reality


I stopped listening because all they do is oppose everything Trump does, destroy property and shout down the opposition. Disagree? See video of any Antifa demonstration. Also, The business of climate change has too many billions of dollars to loose if people stop drinking the coolaide.


Free tip for Democrats: if you ever want to regain control of the US House/Senate you have to lay-off the histrionics asap.

The normal people (non-political hacks) that decide every single election just look at this stuff and shake their heads.  And every time you have another march or protest for some generic/baseless cause your credibility erodes a little bit more.

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