Organizers of a science rally to protest President Donald Trump in Boston Sunday expected to draw more 10,000 people, but only a few hundred actually showed up.
More than 10,000 people were interested in or signed up to attend the “Rally to Stand Up for Science,” according to the rally’s Facebook page, but The Boston Globe’s estimates of crowd size put the number of attendees in the hundreds.
Despite the poor attendance, protesters chanted, “Stand up for Science,” and held signs comparing Trump to someone who believes the Earth is flat — an oft-used criticism for those deemed “anti-science.”
Beautiful photos rolling in from Boston’s #StandUpForScience rally, w/ a clear message:
— Collin Rees (@collinrees) February 19, 2017
Rally organizers claim Trump’s alleged “censorship” of federal science agencies and “anti-science” comments inspired their protest. Attendees were concerned about Trump’s alleged “muzzling of scientists and government agencies, to the immigration ban, the deletion of scientific data, and the de-funding of public science,” according to The Boston Globe.
Several environmental groups are listed on the rally’s Facebook page as direct sponsors, including 350.org, The Sierra Club, the Toxics Action Center and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Attendees of the rally were urged to “ally with other movements, such as Black Lives Matter,” according to The Boston Globe.
The Boston rally was heavily supported by the upcoming “Science March,” which organizers say is part of a movement by “scientists and science enthusiasts in protest of the policies of the United States Congress and President Donald J. Trump,” and specifically focuses on “science denial” by Republicans.
“There are certain things that we accept as facts with no alternatives,” states the group’s official website. “The Earth is becoming warmer due to human action. The diversity of life arose by evolution. Politicians who devalue expertise risk making decisions that do not reflect reality and must be held accountable.”
But these same scientists were quiet under the Obama administration.
The Society of Environmental Journalists criticized former President Barack Obama in 2013 for having “taken secrecy to a new level” and effectively censoring EPA scientists from reporters.
Obama’s EPA administrator Lisa Jackson created a controversial secret email account. Email records show that the White House knew about the secret account since at least February 2010. The account was used to contact outside environmental groups and lobbyists, and may have been used to dodge transparency requests.
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