Thousands participate in March for Science in Los Angeles

- Thousands of scientists, and science lovers, took to the streets of downtown Los Angeles Saturday to show their support for fact-based research and environmental protection.

The Los Angeles Police Department estimated 10,000 to 12,000 people made the trek from Pershing Square to City Hall starting at 11 a.m.

In pre-march remarks, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, criticized the Trump administration. "Policy should be guided by scientific consensus. Scientific facts not `alternative facts,''' he said. "Donald Trump can't stop global warming just by emitting an unprecedented volume of hot air.''

California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon brought up immigration during remarks at City Hall. "One-half of our scientists in California today are immigrants.''

The group also heard from Martha Dina Arguello, executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility in Los Angeles. "Today the Cold War is over and the nuclear threat is not,'' she said. "There is no meaningful medical response to a nuclear war'' except disarmament, she said.

The March for Science Los Angeles was one of dozens being held nationwide at a time when federal funding for researching climate change and other initiatives is under threat.

Organizers said they wanted to highlight the role science plays in improving health care, the environment and the economy, and to stand against the silencing and defunding of research.

The science marches come on the 47th anniversary of Earth Day, an annual observance focusing on environmental and climate literacy that is celebrated in nearly 200 countries.

In the Los Angeles area, a variety of beautification projects and community education events were planned for today, ranging from a habitat restoration and creek cleanup by the Friends of Ballona Wetlands to the 28th annual Great L.A. River CleanUp.

In Santa Monica, Pacific Park's iconic Ferris wheel will go "green'' from 7:31 p.m. until midnight.

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