Women's March on Washington: Phoenix Edition

By: Jessica Swarner @jessica_swarner  

January 21st, 2017

An estimated 20,000 people attended the Phoenix Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

The Phoenix march, an offshoot of the Million Women’s March occurring the same day in Washington, D.C., began at the state capitol and followed a mile-long route back to the starting point.

The event remained peaceful throughout the day, and there appeared to be no counter-protests.

Marchers came with signs and t-shirts advocating for a wide variety of causes, including women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, disability rights, immigration rights, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Many attendees included the environment as one of their top concerns with the incoming administration. The Sustainability Review asked marchers their thoughts on how the new president will handle climate change in the coming four years. Here are some of the responses we received:

Zoe Fry, Anna Lacey, and Cassandra Collier from Phoenix

“He’s going to completely ignore [climate change issues] and pretend they don’t exist.”

“I mean, based on his cabinet selections, it’s not going to go very well.”

Bob and Auden Granger from Phoenix

“Already we’ve seen that he’s taken off the climate change page from the White House website, so that’s a bad sign. I think that he has already shown that he doesn’t believe that climate change is a major issue…His record is pretty clear.”

“How do you think a bunch of oil-company billionaires are going to behave?”

Stephen Kurkoski from Massachusetts

“He says that climate change is a hoax that’s invented by the Chinese, and the reason for my sign, it just says that it’s a fact. There are 97 percent of scientists in the world that believe it, that climate change is manmade, and the president-elect doesn’t believe that.”

“Climate change has been the issue I’ve focused on the last 35 years of my life. I know that there’s a lot of really super big issues, but I think it’s the biggest one that faces mankind all over the world along with all of the animals and the plants, so that’s why I focus on that one.”

Barbara Kahl from Toronto, Frank Guisti from Buffalo, NY

“I don’t think he’s going to recognize [climate change] at all. And the people he’s appointing to the Cabinet are not qualified either.”

“I think that we’re in the beginning of a change from fossil fuel to renewable. I think it’s coming – it’s just going to take a little longer because there’s a lot of greed out there. People want to maintain what they have. If they have the money, they don’t want to give it up, and so we need to get over that hump. And I think this is what Bernie would say would be a grassroots start, and I’m hoping it will continue.”

“And many of us in Canada are also quite nervous because obviously his policies will affect the policies in Canada, and our environment is important for everybody in the world.”

Yolanda Dickerson from Mesa, AZ

“I don’t think that he has an idea of what he’s going to do, but hopefully some of his backers…know what to do, and I think the people who are working behind him are going to help him more out with that than he can do. I think they’ll give him the ideas and hopefully he looks at the pros and cons and makes the right choice.”

Yasmine Asadi and Karreen Yeneza from Phoenix

“Well on his website he just deleted, eradicated, anything that has to do with climate change and LGBTQ…rights. I don’t think he’s going to make it a priority. He’s also been in trouble before with environmental issues with his golf courses.”

“I don’t know what to expect of him because he’s so erratic …I don’t find that there’s anything concrete about him. It’s so scary.”

Sandy Conder from Mesa (on right)

“He has to believe in [climate change] first, that it exists.”

“Pruitt’s head of EPA, and he’s fought most of his life against the EPA, so what does that tell you?”

Christine Close from Mesa

“I don’t agree with his position that climate change is a hoax perpetuated by China. It’s a very important issue that the whole world is faced with today, and I don’t want to see us go backwards because I think we’re already a little bit behind the gun.”

“I’m not very happy with his choices so far. I have a lot of concerns about the selection for the EPA and even Secretary of State. I think they’re going to set us back in time, and, again, I think we need all the time we have available to see if we can slow this down.”

Jessica Swarner is a contributing writer for The Sustainability Review and is currently a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication