“We want clean air!” was one of the many cries heard in midtown Manhattan at lunch hour today, outside the offices of Senator Charles Schumer. The hour-long event, co-sponsored by Food and Water Watch was a rally to “urge Schumer to resist Trump’s anti-environmental agenda.” (FB link and full sponsor list HERE)
I arrived to see a smallish crowd gathering at 780 Lexington Avenue, with lots of green and blue signs. There were businessmen and women on their lunch hours, and a lot of retired hippies, who have been fighting the environmentalists fight since the 1970s. Taxi cabs and other traffic drove past, often honking along to the rhythm of the chants in approval, with the occasional Trump supporter adding their two cents to the mix as they drove by. One older couple made me laugh – the wife was clearly politicized, with a slogan on her hat, pins on her lapels, and a large sign in her hand. Her husband seemed a bit less involved, and at one point he asked her, “are we against this guy, or do we want him to do something?” haha.
That question didn’t seem to come up for anyone else in the steadily growing crowd. Under the canopy of leafless winter trees reaching up to the sky along with the midtown skyscrapers, they chanted slogan after slogan: Clean Air! Clean Water! Protect the Earth! and many others. Various cries urging Sen. Schumer to resist Scott Pruitt, the President’s pick for head of the Environmental Protection Agency were mixed with jeers for the Senator’s voting record on Trump’s cabinet picks so far. One of the Senator’s aides handed out a printed page with his response and rationale for his voting record so far.
“Senator Stand for Our Earth!” was the overall theme of the short rally.
As of this writing, Scott Pruitt has been approved by the Senate Committee, and the nomination now goes to the full Senate. (Times article HERE.)
If he is approved, I am sure there will be more protests to come.
As the hour drew to a close, the group chanted: “We’ll Be Back! We’ll Be Back!” Seems that rallying and protests have become the new normal here in New York City, in the two weeks since Donald Trump was sworn in as our President. Feels like a long time ago already.