By Nancy Chacko
This Monday, about 200 environmental activists gathered in Center City to demand that Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey reject the appointment of four key members of President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet. Locally organized by 350 Philadelphia, the Sierra Club, and other organizations, the protest was part of a nationwide effort to deliver the message to all U.S. Senators that our planet must be protected from climate change deniers. Watch a livestream of the event below.
Protestors first gathered outside Senator Casey’s Center City office. Petitions and letters were delivered to his staff, and a speaker from 350 Philadelphia delivered an impassioned speech about the dangers of appointing Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Rick Perry as Energy Secretary, Ryan Zinke as Interior Secretary, and Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. All have histories of denying climate change, fighting against regulations geared towards protecting natural resources, and many have financial ties to major energy companies.
Accompanied by a police escort, the protestors then marched the five blocks to Senator Toomey’s office to deliver similar petitions and letters. Chants of “Whose planet? Our planet!” and “Hey hey! Ho ho! Trump’s cabinet has got to go!” filled the air, followed by more speakers attesting to Trump’s cabinet nominees’ lack of qualifications.
Individuals who were unable to attend a rally were encouraged to call their senators around the same time as the march. Many who attended had not been involved in activist work in the past, while others have been fighting for our environment for decades. But all their voices were united in demanding that our government protect the planet for our future generations.
While Senator Casey has expressed concern over many of the nominations, Senator Toomey has either remained silent or spoken in favor of many of the appointments.
Read more about the march here.