Over 2,000 people spent their Earth Day marching through the streets of downtown Asheville, North Carolina, helping to set an “unprecedented” number of people demonstrating in the name of science.
“I worry that policy makers and pundits have ulterior motives for spreading misinformation,” said Marie Sharpe, a seventh-grade science teacher from Greeneville, Tennessee. “They typically have the platforms to do so.”The record turnout across the country is attributed to the current presidential administration, according to the Washington Post.
The Science March in Asheville was one of approximately 60 worldwide. There were nearly 35,000 #sciencemarch posts on Instagram alone.
“I hope that the demonstrations will empower people to examine science-related issues with a critical eye, rather than taking information from non-experts at face value,” said the teacher.
Buncombe County High School student Luke Shealy organized the event.
“As soon as I heard about the march, I planned on attending,” said Sharpe. “It was about a month out that I made hotel reservations.”
The march began at in Aston Park and took an hour to complete. People arrived with signs depicting phrases like “There is no PLANet B,” “Stop the freakin’ frackin'” and “the oceans are rising, and so are we.”
At the march’s ending in Pack Square, Shealy introduced six prominent members of the community who advocated for scientific funding. The event was so successful that t-shirts are being reprinted for sale.
“My participation was intended to show my students that my beliefs are more than a sign on the wall, that actions are necessary to ensure innovations will persist and that the world will continue to benefit from science exploration,” said Sharpe.