On Saturday, several hundred protesters descended upon UNLV to demand action on climate change. The UNLV People’s Climate March was one of over 300 climate marches happening across the nation. Why was this happening? What were the protesters marching for?
Basically, they were marching for the entire planet.
Just hours before the UNLV march and other People’s Climate March events began, the Trump Administration ordered the removal of climate change information from the EPA’s website. Earlier in the week, Donald Trump signed an executive order to demand more offshore drilling for fossil fuels in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, and the Gulf of Mexico. He had already signed another executive order to review 21 years’ worth of National Monuments designated under the Antiquities Act. And the Trump Administration is still debating what to do with the Paris Climate Accord that the U.S. has already formally agreed to.
Amidst this troubling environment for the environment, activists hit the streets for the People’s Climate March.
In addition to the main event in Washington, D.C., activists brought the People’s Climate March to Southern Nevada. The Nevada Conservation League, Chispa Nevada, and allied community organizations hosted the march at UNLV on Saturday. On the 100th day of Trump’s Presidency, they excoriated the White House for choosing corporate profits over the health of the people in rolling back environmental protections.
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (D-Paradise), Nevada State Assembly Member Nelson Araujo (D-Las Vegas), Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani (D), and Las Vegas City Council Member Bob Coffin all attended the UNLV march while U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D) expressed her support from D.C. In addition to elected officials, movement leaders like Native American civil rights activist Fawn Douglas and HRC Nevada’s Leo Murrieta explained how Trump’s actions hit home.
“We fought really hard for Gold Butte. […] Donald Trump’s order is a slap in the face to Native Americans!” – Fawn Douglas
Two of the National Monuments targeted in Trump’s executive order are Nevada’s own Gold Butte and Basin and Range. Douglas and others called upon the marchers to continue fighting to protect Nevada’s public lands.
Environmentalist leaders and Assembly Member Araujo also called upon the marchers to continue fighting in Nevada to safeguard the Silver State from as many of Trump’s actions as possible. Hours before Trump signed his order to review those National Monument designations, the Nevada Legislature advanced three bills endorsing public lands protection. In addition, the Nevada Legislature is mulling over several renewable energy bills tackling everything from rooftop solar net metering to the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) and expanding renewable energy access to diverse and working poor communities.
Many of the speakers and marchers at the UNLV People’s Climate March expressed their anger over what Donald Trump has done in his first 100 days in the White House.
“There’s a lot of talk about the first 100 days. I say it’s the worst 100 days. […] The Trump Administration is abandoning the protection of the planet and future generations.” – Rep. Dina Titus
However, they also expressed their resolve to fight on. Between state policy, court challenges, and getting more substantive measures through Congress, environmentalists have several ways to fight Trump’s actions. They signaled their intent to do just that during Trump’s first 100 days. He can probably expect more fights to come in Nevada and throughout the rest of the nation in the next 100 days.