Sophomore Jessica Robyns holds a sign amidst other demonstrators at Houdini Plaza. Photo by Luke Payne.
“Science saves lives!” was heard loud and clear on April 21 in Appleton, a city that participated in the nationwide “March for Science.” The march started at 3:30 p.m. and went until 5 p.m., coinciding with many other marches, like the one in Madison. According to the event page on Facebook, “Official head count was 400+,” an unexpected turnout. One of the organizers, Alan Lawrence, who spoke at the Memorial Chapel before the march, said, “We were only expecting 50 people.”
One of the speeches covered the history of Earth Day, which started on April 21, 1970, with students picking up trash and learning about the environment, eventually sparking the creation of ecology classes in high schools.
Sophomore Erica Craddock, an RLA in Kohler Hall, included the march as one of her Spring Term programs. At least 10 people met in the Kohler lobby for Craddock’s program at 2:15 p.m. to make signs before heading to the Memorial Chapel to hear speeches and music provided until the beginning of the march.
All kinds of people turned out for the march—Lawrence students and professors, citizens of Appleton and lots of children, from babies to high schoolers. Almost everyone had signs, and once the marching started, everyone was “fired up and ready to go” as they chanted when the march began.
The marchers had to obey rules given by the city of Appleton in order to march, including staying on the sidewalk, not impeding traffic and keeping everything kid-friendly. Demonstrators marched down College Avenue to Houdini Plaza and spread out to the four corners there, waving signs and chanting. A favorite chant was, “We love science, yes we do! We love science, how about you?” Cars honked to show support as they drove by.