Placid march seeks action on warming
Waiting for a march to highlight global warming to begin, about three dozen Seattle police officers hung around Saturday on the periphery...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Waiting for a march to highlight global warming to begin, about three dozen Seattle police officers hung around Saturday on the periphery of Occidental Park in Pioneer Square. Some rocked back and forth on their bicycles, some leaned back on the seats of their Harley-Davidsons.
In the park, what would end up being about 1,400 marchers were listening to a Dixieland band, or posing for friends who had brought along cameras, or taking care of babies in strollers. One individual was dressed like a fish; others carried a 10-foot-diameter inflatable Earth.
It was obvious that the Step It Up march here — one of more than 1,300 such marches around the country to focus on global warming — would be neither violent nor confrontational. The demonstrations were to urge congressional action to cut carbon emissions in the U.S. by 80 percent by 2050.
"It's very Seattle," said Whitney Rhodes, 22, about the low-key march. "The purpose here is not to cause a ruckus, but to raise awareness."
Rhodes is a political economics major at the University of Washington, Tacoma, campus. She said she tries to help the environment by riding her bicycle to school and taking the bus as much as possible.
Walking with the aid of a cane was Tom Herring, 85, of Vashon, a retired Boeing engineer. He was handing out leaflets he printed on his home computer that said, "Global war + global warming = global wasteland. Green Party of Washington State."
Steve Bragalone, 29, of Bainbridge Island, was pushing one of his daughters, Tori, 2, in a baby carriage. By his side was his wife, Leah, 30, who was carrying in a strap their second daughter, Julia, age 7 months. The couple recently moved here from Ohio.
"We like the water and the environment here," he said. "My passion is the environment."
When the march ended at Myrtle Edwards Park, organizers passed out dozens of free 23-watt "Greenlites" that conserve energy. The marchers held them in the air and posed for pictures to be used later for publicity.
About then, politicians invited to speak at the event arrived. They hadn't marched, but either drove or were driven to the end point in electric or hybrid cars.
Erik Lacitis: 206-464-2237 or email@example.com
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