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May 15, 2017

Blair students participate in the People's Climate March

by Lauren Frost, Online Entertainment Editor
On April 29, the 100th day of Donald Trump's presidency, over 200,000 people, including many students from Blair, took to the streets of DC and surrounded the White House as part of the People's Climate March.

The People's Climate March challenged the Trump administration's lack of environmental action while pushing for solutions to climate change as well as the protection of people's rights to clean air, water and land. The protesters marched for more than two hours from 3rd Street and Jefferson to the White House. Upon reaching the White House, the protesters participated in a peaceful sit-in and continued the march to the Washington Monument, where there was a rally with guest speakers.

According to D.C area public school coordinator and Blair graduate Sebi Medina-Tayac, this was not just a march for the environment. "This march takes a social justice approach. It's a march that brings together diverse people to recognize how climate change is going to affect us."
Thousands of people march in the Climate March in Washington, D.C.
Thousands of people march in the Climate March in Washington, D.C.

The march also aimed to include often overlooked minority groups, such as immigrants, people of color and indigenous groups. While some people protested for generic environmental change, others marched with specific goals in mind. One group from Baltimore protested rising air pollution in the city, which is known to cause respiratory-related health issues. These minority groups are often ignored, yet they are subjected to some of the worst environmental conditions.

Blazers decided to get involved in the march for a variety of different reasons. Freshman Bianca Hernandez joined the march after hearing about it from a friend and wanted to help push for a solution, "We've known about climate change and how our population has [harmed] the environment and the fact that we know this and don't do anything is a really big problem," Hernandez said.

In order to prepare for the march, many Blazers gathered at Blair on April 25 and made posters that promoted environmental change. The gathering was led by youth leaders such as Hernandez as well as Medina-Tayac.

Medina-Tayac, who has been involved with environmental issues since a young age, believes that it is very important for youth to get involved. "I think as young people, we are going to be the ones to confront and face and fix these environmental issues…We're not responsible for all the things that have happened to the environment, but we are [now] responsible for how we take care of the environment," Medina-Tayac explained.

On April 28, the day before the march, Blazers met up with other high school and college students in order to participate in a youth convening that prepared the protesters with posters and chants.



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