CHICAGO, IL — Today, on Trump’s 100th day in office, 5,000 of Illinoisans rallied and marched as part of the People’s Climate March- Chicago. This rally was one of over 370 events organized by activists from the environmental justice, social justice, and labor communities.
With more than 80 organizations endorsing the Chicago march, groups united to protest threats to federal funding of supportive and environmental agencies, elevate the voices of communities most-impacted by fossil fuel pollution, and pressure state-level leaders to endorse a holistic commitment to climate justice. See the march demands here: https://tinyurl.com/PCM-Chicago-Demands
The demonstrators rallied at Federal Plaza, and then marched to Trump Tower. There, the group joined hands along the south bank of the Chicago River in a symbolic act of protection of air, water, land, and communities. "We are Mother Earth's children as well as her protectors. We must stand TALL and STRONG. For we are her voice" said Sarina DiMaso of the American Indian Center Chicago.
Speakers at the noon rally addressed a range of issues, speaking out against corporate greed, Trump and Congress’s attacks on the environment, local environmental concerns, international violence against activists, and the disproportionate impact that pollution and climate change have on communities of color and low income communities:
"If our nation continues to take the path of profits over our environment, it will have catastrophic effects for many generations to come. In my hometown of Waukegan Illinois, we've been dealing with the health impacts of pollution from a coal plant on our lakefront owned by New Jersey-based NRG. NRG profits and my community is left with the pollution,” said Octavius Hayes of Clean Power Lake County. “I'm marching for social and environmental justice but most importantly the future of my community and our planet."
“This march is a chance to speak out in unity against this Administration, its refusal to acknowledge climate change and its ridiculous gutting of the EPA budget and staffing,” said John J O’Grady, President of AFGE Council 238. “Claims that ordinary Americans will have clean air, land, and water despite reductions of over 31 percent to the U.S. EPA’s budget and a reduction in staffing of 3,000 to 4,000 employees are irresponsible. I don't believe those lies, nor should you!”
“Our water systems are crumbling and Trump's plan to renew vital infrastructure is a Wall Street giveaway. His plan will make it harder for struggling families to pay their water bills,” said David Hunt, Senior Strategist Food & Water Watch. “That’s why we’re here today, marching for the human right to water and a clean energy revolution. Governor Rauner has failed to deliver a budget that puts these priorities first for too long.”
“It's estimated that 80% of the service lines connecting homes to Chicago's water mains are made of lead. Research by the EPA whistleblower in Flint shows that the replacement of Chicago's water mains is putting dangerous levels of lead into our drinking water. In spite of this and almost identical research done in other major cities, our local Democrats have become science deniers. Chicago needs a plan to address our lead service lines!” said Troy Hernandez, an activist with Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization. “That's why PERRO, with funding provided by the Great Lakes Alliance, will be going door to door handing out $5000 of water filters to affected homes with children and pregnant women. Everyone has a right to clean water, clean soil, and clean air. That's why we march.”
"Stop carbon trading, nutrient trading, stop the deforestation in the Amazons and protect our indigenous land" said Delia Barajas of Ixchel- Berwyn Cicero.
“We join this mobilization because a Honduran woman, a sister of our skin color, made from the color of Lenca earth, Berta Cáceres was assassinated for passionately defending the life of her people in struggle, in Honduras, the heart of Central America. With her, we continue the struggle for communities that may seem far away from those who are mobilizing in Chicago, people who, like everybody, want a good, dignified, enjoyable life without destroying the delicate fabric that sustains it, nor other living beings around the world.” Melissa Cardoza, a Honduran activist and author.
"McDonald's business practices keeps its workers in poverty and is destroying our world,” said Ashley Bruce, McDonald’s worker and Fight for $15 leader. “As the second largest employer in the world it needs to stop leading the global race to the bottom and instead lift up working families by paying living wages & have a more sustainable model so that our communities and climate are not ruined"