Even the temptation of festival fun can’t keep true activists from their devoted causes.
The attendees of Coachella 2017, weekend two, made us proud this year by standing in solidarity with the scientists on the streets on Saturday, April 22, during the March For Science protest. The attendees’ willingness to make their voices heard about the impact of the current political atmosphere on scientific study and education, even in the midst of full-on Coachella madness, is something to revere.
A small Coachella effort joined the national March for Science during the second day of the second weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA on Saturday, April 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)
The march was led by band Downtown Boys after their 3:10 p.m. set on Coachella’s newly erected Sonora Stage. According to the Desert Sun, the march began at the Sonora Stage and made its way to the Chiaozza Garden. The crowd was awash with protest signs with messages like “There Is No Planet B” and “Coachella <3's Science."
Joe DeGeorge, the band’s saxophonist and synth player, explained the group’s ambition for leading this protest march during the active festival:
“All over the country, people are marching for science, and we’re doing our march here at Coachella. It’s not just about marching for a fact-based ideology; it’s about power and how the institution and structure that runs this country really value private wealth and capital above things like our health, our environment. We are marching because we value those things and we have to shout in this capitalist structure to make our values heard.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Apparently the march wasn’t entirely impromptu. The organizers, Zoe Cabral, a chemist from Los Angeles, and McKenzie Fulkerson-Jones, a nature conservationist from San Francisco, met on Reddit and decided to spearhead the march when they learned that many young attendees of Coachella had wanted to participate, but had already purchased festival tickets for the weekend. “It seemed like there would be a lot of people here who would think this was a worthwhile cause,” Fulkerson-Jones said. “We wanted to make our presence here known and make sure people didn’t miss out on this.”
The March For Science took place internationally in over 500 locations, led by renowned scientists and celebrities including Bill Nye, Questlove and Jonathan Foley, executive director of the California Academy of Sciences. If you’d like to get involved with the movement to protect scientific study and defend the planet, you can learn more here.